Friday, 31 July 2015


It has been another week of hospital routines. My sisters and I are getting our rhythms 'down pat', organising ourselves so that my father generally has one of us around. When you have a hearing impairment (and refuse to wear hearing aids) and english is not your first language navigating the hospital system and understanding doctors and specialists is a challenge, we act as intermediaries, helping to relieve my father of some of his confusion and anxiety. I think the medical staff are also very appreciative! You have to speak loudly, slowly and in words that my father can understand, a challenging and sometimes amusing task.

At least this week he has been on the same ward, in recovery mode. Hospitals are a world unto themselves. We have become familiar with the rhythm of the days - meal times, doctors rounds time, medication time, showering time, rest time, visitors time... and on it goes. A world ordered by hours and minutes, a comfort if you like routine, boringly predictable if you don't. Luckily my father is quite content with order and happy to stay put as they attempt to 'tweak' his multitude of medications trying to ensure he is safe to return home. He is coming up to three weeks in hospital now, the end is in sight...

Sunday, 26 July 2015


I have had a bit of a break from hospital duties, Rachel and Liam have flown down for a few days. Yesterday we braved the ordinary weather and visited Hollybank; the zipline was a hit.

getting ready
the real thing
it really is high up

While the others flew above the trees my mother and I wandered through them (we went on the zipline tour a couple of years ago with members of my family)

Friday, 24 July 2015


The last week is a bit of a blur - one day running into another, from one hospital ward to another, doctors, specialists and nurses, up and down and round and round. So thankful for two wonderful sisters to share the load...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

tennis: tassie style

It's 9am, the temperature is below zero, there is frost on the ground, the fog is beginning to lift, the tennis balls have to be warmed (the cold air inside the balls means they don't bounce properly), everyone is donned in 'puffer jackets', scarves and beanies; it is finals day and that's why we are here. Both my nephews have made finals. My sister has endured many such mornings and comes well prepared, she has discovered hand warmers - pouches of some substance that when shaken and exposed to the cold air heat up and stay warm for hours. We put them inside our gloves, I wish you could put them inside your shoes.  By 11am there is some sun with a hint of warmth, it is all of 2.5 degrees; warmth is a relative thing I am discovering...

keeping warm in between matches

a very happy runner up X2, singles and doubles

P.S  Nephew number 1 also received a trophy but he is old enough to want to be first not second and his disappointment is keen (so no photo of him!)

Friday, 17 July 2015

change of plans

A few days in Melbourne catching up with family and friends, an unexpected return flight to Tassie, a father in hospital, a sobering prognosis...

Thursday, 9 July 2015

lake burley griffin

We've spent a bit of time around Lake Burley Griffin this time in Canberra. We are staying a stones throw away (New Acton) and arrived yesterday afternoon in time to check in and take a quick walk as the sun began to set. This afternoon we borrowed bikes and Zac joined us for a ride around the western loop of the lake. No hot pink helmets this time but the bike seats were mighty uncomfortable and 16km later we were feeling it...

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


The forecast rain held off for most of the day so: 

we went for an early morning walk along the coastal track; up hills, on paths, along sand and had breakfast watching local surfers make the most of the big swell.

Looking over Bar Beach and Merewether Beach (far end)

Bar Beach

Merewether Beach

Merewether bathing pool with waves crashing over it

we rode borrowed bikes further afield; to Nobby's Point, past Fort Scratchley, the bathing pools and up even more hills. I complained about the bright pink helmet that went with the girl's bike, Colin manfully volunteered to wear it. I decided to be gracious and wore the darn thing and also allowed him to ride the boys bike even though his seat was more comfortable. The 'going' was fine, the 'coming back' was into a headwind and up a very steep hill. My legs will be complaining tomorrow.

After lunch and an afternoon nap we returned to Merewether Beach just in time to enjoy a beautiful sky as the sun went down.

Monday, 6 July 2015


We said our goodbyes to Byron this morning, another year's sojourn at an end. It was different and OK. We missed the kids not being here but being in a cabin rather than our van helped to make a break with the past. It is such a beautiful place.

A full days driving and we are at Newcastle tonight. Why not, we thought, we haven't been here before. We are usually driving past headed for home, intent on getting to a destination. Today Newcastle was the destination and tomorrow we had plans to explore a bit. A rainy forecast might require a slight change of plans - the walk and bike ride may not eventuate as we imagined. Oh well, what happens, happens...

Saturday, 4 July 2015

finger knitting

Yesterday I learned how to finger knit; the late afternoon sun and sea a backdrop to industrious activity. The girls are preparing for their tree decorating - knitting, plaiting and other inventive, creative ideas with wool...

Friday, 3 July 2015


There was finally a bit of colour as the sun set last night.

Other than that not much has changed over the last few days, a few more sunny breaks, the surf has dropped off a bit and our days are still way lazy.

We did start the day with yoga on the beach the other morning. The kids decided to take a class for the adults - 2 bucks fifty plus a piece of fruit at the end. (all proceeds to buy wool to yarn bomb a tree)