Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Monday, Tuesday: two very quiet days spent doing last minute shopping and washing before going away to Sydney, Nowra and Canberra. Dad still insists on coming every day for lunch which is nice but a bit hard on him.
Sally dropped in last night before dinner for a natter, and Frank is coming tonight for a pre-Christmas drink.
I think I'm almost ready to go. The Rozelle B& B has rung to say they've had 'plumbing problems' and can we move to a smaller unit! Okay, I said, then realised I should have asked what the discount offered was.
Today's ABC Online had a piece about a Tasmanian windfarm turbine killing lots of bats and birds including a threatened wedgetailed eagle. (Their excuse was it was an overcast day.) I've emailed it to Marg and Clive who might be able to use it in their campaigns. They had a full page on THEIR b & b, Singapore Deep, in the Age on Friday. The clincher was that, after a rave review, they are booked out for January. Book now and avoid disappointment.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Sunday: Spent the morning making Prawns Anjalou (though Peter did most of it, I just cut up the honeydew and rock melon). It was a big hit: even though there was a huge bowl of it, it all went. Then Ian (my brother-in-law)'s cold turkey and salad (his potato salad is to die for), then my father's Christmas pud. (After a break to watch Julie and Ian's tapes of Kangaroo Island. I slept through the bats.) Now at home pondering if we'll ever eat again.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Tonight Peter cooked Stephanie's roast chook recipe and we settled in for a night in front of the tellie (The Bill, James Dean etc.). Late in the piece, Peter ordered through Ozevillage a hamper for his mum (it has been a last-minute refuge before, but it works!) for Christmas. It HAS been a busy day with only a short nap to cushion it. Early tomorrow we have to make prawns anjalou for the entree for lunch chez my sister. (My brother-in-law is doing his famous turkey for mains - cold, and father is doing his well-known icecream plum pudding). We'll retire defeated and fat and full.
Planning for Sydney and Canberra is nearly complete and looking very crowded. How we fit in Sasha, Elisabeth, her mum, two art galleries, the zoo and the Brown household in effectively three days in Sydney I don't know. The three days in Nowra and two in Canberra then seem luxurious by comparison. Sleep on it!

Whoops! Car wouldn't start, so we hoofed it up to Smurf street instead. Shop, shop, shop and on the way home (after lunch) ran into Michael H. and Mark on their way to do their shopping. Nice!
This arvo went up to Brunswick street to complete my absolutely essential Christmas shopping which is all I will do. All in all a very energetic day for me, so I think I deserve an arvo sleep. Zzzzz!

Friday: a very quiet day including a trip to Canal's seafood to get the prawns for Sunday lunch at my sister's. Dinner time we went to Frank's for Sri Lankan takeaway and Peter got his MP3 player to work finally, though it still needs a bit of fine tuning, and my computer still needs upgrading to Windows 98SE to work it. It does sound good though!
I suddenly realise that it is now only a few days till we go to Sydney and there is a LOT to do before then. We're about to head off to do the shopping: this time at Victoria Gardens, our local shopping mall. We're going there cos it has a Toscanos fruit and veg and we want good fruit and veg to go with the prawn recipe. For the rest, I hate it with a vengeance. (Peter and Frank like the cinemas there because of their comfy seats and good sound system. Capitalism has it easy.)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Thursday: Went this morning to the peri-operative unit to get prepared for surgery. Saw a nurse, surgeon and anaesthetist who were quite enlightening about the whole thing. Also, sorted out (finally) that we are not doing it next Monday. I had this horror (as it was still on the Royal Melb. computer as of this morning) of a whole surgical team waiing for me to turn up, and me not. A more urgent case has taken my place, and I am re-waitlisted for January.
One thing that emerged this a.m. was that the further you are from radiotherapy, the quicker you heal. Also, the surgeon's confident 'less than a week' in hospital, became today 7-10 days depending. However, a lot of it is like the glass of water (half full, or half empty depending on optimism quotient). I'm glad I've got a bit of time to get myself feeling more optimistic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Wednesday: We went to see the solicitor today about my will. It's wonderful how they won't give a straightforward answer, e.g. it depends on what a court would consider fair and reasonable. However, it did clarify some things for further thought and discussion. Tomorrow, early, peri-operative at the Royal Melbourne (vetting by anaesthetists etc.) preparatory to surgery.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Monday: Father came for normal duty today and we finished off the rabbit casserole for lunch and did some details before seeing the lawyer about the Will on Wednesday. Then I had a bit of a sleep in the arvo before a frenzy (well - semi frenzy) of savoury making before Frank, Lesley, Michael and Louise turned up. We had a good chat then exchanged prezzies, and gutsed some savouries. Then the visitors went off into the night. Lesley, Louise and Michael had already had dinner, so didn't eat much. Michael's ceramic tiger and rider was very well made. I look forward to seeing them in situ in Canberra soon (and the rocks).
The power of the blog was shown when I got an email message yesterday asking about a recipe for paella (the correspondent noting that food seemed to be a preoccupation on this blog), Anyway it was nice to have a Fellowship of the Blogs get-together last night (no relation to that Frodo the magic table-leg - a reference only to be understood by persons at La Trobe Uni. circa 1973-4).

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sunday: Spent a lot of the morning cooking the rabbit (rabbit and prune casserole) and asked Lorraine to dinner (Frank was already coming). My olds dropped in late afternoon after lunch with Julie then Frank and Lorraine came to dinner. The rabbit casserole was okay (if I say so myself) and Peter's mango fool was delicious (both recipes courtesy of St Stephanie).
Looking forward to seeing Lesley, Louise and Michael tomorrow evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Saturday: Have now confirmed Canberra so will get to see the house that is so far known only by blog. Everything is panning out well. Today we went down to the farm and the farmers' market. We bought some Christmas presents and other stuff including some basil (which was pesto for tonight's dinner) and a rabbit (which will be tomorrow night's dinner).
Then Peter and Frank did the 'real' shopping, and later in the afternoon Peter and I went up to Brunswick Street to do some more shopping. My Christmas shopping is hugely unsuccessful, as every time I buy something for someone else I buy something for me. Not a good policy!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Friday: Peter and I have decided to go to Sydney, Nowra etc. between Christmas and New Year, then I'll go on to Canberra for a few days. (Pierre has to go back to work). If you want an itinerary, I can email it on request. It will be nice to see Kit, Neville and Ben in Sydney, and the Nowra mob, plus Elisabeth and a few others if there's time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Wednesday: Better news today! Went to the Renal Clinic and my kidneys are okay and my red blood cells are okay. They sort of gave a guarantee on the kidneys for ten years and maybe twenty. That's about as good as you can get! So at least if I survive surgery I've got a clearance on one part of my body. At present, these small mercies seem large.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Tuesday: Not a great day today. Professor Sizeland informed me today that 10 per cent of the cancer remains, after all that! So we are really back where we were six months ago and sometime in Jan/Feb there will have to be surgery to remove the 10 per cent. Bugger! More info next week after consultation with the surgeons.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Monday: Very quiet day. I downloaded some microsoft additions in the hope that they might make Pierre's mp3 player work. Then father used his Vax to vainly try to pick up any remaining soggy bits of carpet. He got a bit! Apart from that little happened. I tried my Adelaide contact for accommodation during the Ring, but she is saving it for the people she had last time! So David is following up his contacts.
Also discovered that as of now Virgin is offering $85 each way to Adelaide which is a lot cheaper than the train. So that kind of settles that! We should book NOW!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Saturday, Sunday: Sally dropped by on Saturday afternoon. We chatted about the proximity of innercity living and other things. Peter cooked the fillet of beef for dinner and we had thin slices of underdone beef with mayonnaise. Red blood cell count watch out!
Sunday was v. quiet though we did walk around the convent in the sun, then went to Frank's for dinner with David to start making arrangements for the Ring Cycle in late 2004. (We need to book accommodation NOW!)

Friday, December 05, 2003

Friday: Went the morning for a CAT scan. They went into spasms when I said I had impaired kidney function, and, after checking, they decided NOT to give me the magic injection (last time they did, so go figure). However, it all meant the whole thing was over in about ten minutes. Just into the tube, barcode, barcode, and finish.
The all-important results happen next Tuesday. So we'll see.
Meanwhile, I've got a letter saying that I HAVEN'T got a disability allowance (though I have been paid money). So go figure on that one. Probably I have been paid sickness benefit, and they are saying get another certificate for disability. Father will find out in due course after Tuesday. The trouble is that you can't get Disability until your treatment is over, which it isn't. In any case, we think that that the money will keep coming until February at least.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Thursday: Forgot to mention that in the "100 year downpour" we had a minor leak in the living room, and a recurrence of the major leak in my front room office. It is currently drying out as it has before, but I am hoping we don't have further downpours. (One is happening as I type, but it is not enough, so far, to cause leaks.)
It was not, in fact, a 100 year downpour as the weather bureau said. I know that because a 50 year downpour causes floods which come to our front doorstep (this has happened in living memory). So it was probably a 25 year downpour which was quite enough, thank you.
Also, the convent saga continues. The anti flat lobbyists placed a good one in the local rag which made it sound as though they had won, but if you read it carefully it was saying keep the heat on Delahunty. We also got a leaflet saying that the farm was under threat if the 200 carparking spaces were not kept on the north side. (Rather than putting them in the paddock on the south side which is the other 'free' option.) Buying out Australand will cost about 4 million dollars. Them's dear carparking spaces and would keep the farm going for a while.
My theory is that Australand doesn't really want to build the flats now in a deflated market, so would welcome any way out. Give em a Mars Bar!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Wednesday: very quiet news of today, Centrelink is paying my sickness benefit back to when I got sick, and it is all thanks to my father's lobbying. I don't know what you would do if you didn't have such a competent advocate.
This arvo went to the Renal Clinic at the Melbourne Hospital. They'd forgotten to give me a chit for a blood test, so I had to go and have one and go back next week. Mr de Crespigny is worried that no one has worked out why I'm anaemic. I said I'd been in intensive care for 11 days without real food. However, he wants to look further.
I feel a bit over medicalised: what with Pet scan on Monday, Cat scan on Friday, P. Mac clinic on Tuesday and Royal Melbourne Clinic on Wednesday. I suppose I'm earning my sickness benefits.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Monday (after dinner): the Lawson-Baker's have just left after a very good dinner. Pierre's chicken casserole, potato and salad were superb. The apple crumble and icecream went off a treat, and they have just departed post midnight which betokeneth a successful night. Lots of reminiscences and family bonding. They are off to Sydney on Wednesday where Thea starts her MD at Sydney Uni.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Monday: Up early this morning as it is time for another OUTING, this time just to Peter Mac for a Pet Scan. My father was delayed in traffic but we still made it easily in time. They admit you to hospital (tag and all) as they give you a valium shot to relax you, then pump you with radioactive gump to track in the scan. I suggested to the doctor that they change the instructions they send in advance from 'inject' to 'canullate' which is what they do in fact. (I think he thought I was mad, but I was serious, as you should know the correct procedure, and you have to relax for a canullation to succeed on the first try. I know! I've had enough of em.)
After that it was plain sailing. Rest for an hour to let the gumph run around the body, then hop in the tube to get scanned like a barcode, except it takes an hour. Same again on Friday with a CAT scan (no vallium, no canullation, I hope).
I spent the rest of the day asleep from the vallium.
Tonight (like shortly), Peter's brother is coming for dinner with his wife, Libby, daughter, Thea and her two house mates. Quite a performance. Chicken casserole is bubbling on the stove, the potatoes are about to go on in the oven, then apple crumble! Five for dinner plus us is a lot. I hope we've got enough cutlery!