Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Quietly Does It

After so much time away from home during the last 2 months, I'm slowly easing my way back into my life.

Adoring Husband and I spent the day watching all the TV shows that he recorded for me while I was away ... well ... SOME of them anyway.

I did make a conscious effort to pedal to the river this morning before making my way to the shops to check the mail and buy a coffee.

I haven't even unpacked my suitcase yet.

It's sitting on the floor in the dining room.

I've removed my dirty washing and washed it.

I've removed my toiletry bag and emptied it.

That's it.

Even dinner was an easy lamb shanks in red wine, tomato and onion sauce, cooked in the slow cooker. Little effort, but plenty of flavour.

I have my art class tomorrow, which I'm excited about!

On Sunday, I hope to groom the dogs ... they've waited long enough!

On Monday, I hope to sink my teeth back into my new business. Head down, bum up and no more dilly dallying!

I've just watched the first two episodes of the new season of Grace and Frankie. As much as I want to binge watch the entire series, I would like to be bright and awake for tomorrow's art class, so I'm off to bed.

Nite all.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hell on Rails

My day began so perfectly.

I experienced a delicious night of sleep in a very comfortable bed. The weather was just right, with the window open and the ceiling fan on low.

Upon waking, I was able to spend 20 minutes in bed, enjoying the solitude and easing myself into the day. I showered, dressed and repacked my suitcase so that I was ready to leave at a moment's notice.

I walked out of the bedroom to find Rebel Mardi sitting in the kitchen, so I greeted her with a happy good morning and she offered to make me a delicious 'real' coffee. She made my coffee with lots of love and it was quite delicious!

The Lifesaver shared with me, his junk mail ... oh how I miss junk mail!! All of those lovely catalogues with all of those lovely sales!

Rebel Mardi and I spent a leisurely hour or so sitting on the deck talking, talking, talking and talking (we are pretty good at that).

Eventually, we packed all of my gear into the car and headed of for a morning of adventure.

The Lifesaver took me to a shop that he was certain I would love. He was right!! I could easily have spent a couple of hours wandering around that huge warehouse sized gift store and thanks to his generous offer of looking after a big item that I wanted to buy, and bringing it to me on their next visit, I bought a gorgeous big 'abundance' buddha which is now sitting in a box in the boot of their car!

From there, we drove to my favourite organic marketplace, Kunara, where we all enjoyed an early lunch and more talking. Before we left, I bought 3 delicious sweets to take on the train. I got a raw mars bar, a beetroot chocolate cake and a key lime tart.

Rebel Mardi and The Lifesaver were kind enough to not only drive me to the train station, but wait with me until the train arrived. They made me feel very special!

A big thank you for making me feel so welcome in your home and for being so generous with your time. Even though we only had 24 hours together, it was quality time and I really enjoyed myself.

Thank goodness I had such a wonderful start to my day.

I climbed onto the train and had nowhere to store my suitcase. The luggage compartment was overflowing with backpacks, suitcases, folding prams, walkers (for the elderly) and other assorted travelling paraphernalia. The two of us who boarded the train, had to leave our luggage in the walkway.

I walked to the end of the carriage where my seat was located, to discover that it was already taken. There were seats spare, but the people who were sitting there had only gone to the food kiosk which was located about 4 carriages away.

I decided to walk into the next carriage and discovered that there were only 6 people in that one, so I sat in a seat there and made myself comfortable ... for about 10 minutes ... until the conductor came along and said "This carriage will be filled to the brim at the next stop. I'm sorry madam, but you will have to return to your carriage."

So I told him of my dilemma and pleaded with him to NOT send me back to that carriage. He apologised, stating that they were unusually busy today and that all of the carriages were very full. He took me back to my carriage and sat me in a spare seat beside an older lady, who I discovered later, was also going to Howard.

I sat down and was surrounded by young people. There were eight of them in one group, plus a grandmother to one of the babies.

Young people drinking rum and coke from cans.

Young people who smelled of alcohol, cigarettes and sweat (body odour).

Young people who were talking loudly and using language that even made ME blush!

Young people who had young babies - one about 4 weeks old and another about 6 months old.

Young people who were either stalking people in Facebook who they didn't like, or were watching offensive videos in Youtube.

Young people who were bragging about their friends (or 'bros') who drive on the highway at 180kph while texting, or who spin out on roundabouts five times in a row, or who turn off their headlights while speeding down mountain roads to scare their passengers, or intentionally 'drift' on the road in competition with their mates.

Young people who were complaining loudly about Centrelink and their payments, and how they were breached for not attending interviews.

One young man (who I guessed to be 16 or 17, but was buying alcohol, so must have been at least 18) said to his 16yr old girlfriend (with the 4 week old baby) "I'm just going to buy one more rum and coke and then I'll give you the keycard so that you can buy stuff for Bub okay babe?"

She asked him to buy her a rum and coke too and he replied with "No babe! There is only $16 left."

On the trip between Nambour and Cooroy, which takes less than 30 minutes, he drank 4 cans of rum and coke. Who knows how many he'd had before I boarded?

The 16 yr old girl then began talking to her baby. Oh the language and the threats that came out of that mouth. It made me feel nauseous.

Meanwhile, at the front of my carriage, there was another young girl. She looked to be about 18 yrs old. She was sitting on the very front seat with twin babies, a boy and a girl, about 3 months old and she had her top off and was breast feeding them (which is not a problem for me) and she also had two other children. A girl of 4 and a boy 2.5yrs.

The boy was out of control. If he wasn't climbing all over his seat or other passengers, he was running up and down the carriage or he was having a tantrum, for no particular reason that I could tell. This poor girl was doing her best in very difficult circumstances, but didn't appear to be stressed at all!

There were two other men sitting together, one of them with particularly evil looking eyes (in my opinion) and he was playing what appeared to be 'mind control' games with the other. He was chanting in a low voice and clicking his fingers in his friend's face and telling him to repeat certain words and feel certain emotions.

It was at this moment, I had an epiphany! I was feeling so stressed and so uncomfortable in this environment .. and knowing that I was going to be on the train for 4 hours, I couldn't bear the thought of sitting in that seat and listening to this for another moment.

I remembered that these old diesel trains have a club car!!

I gathered up my gear and began walking. It's quite a hike to walk the length of 4 carriages!

Then I saw it.

It was as if the heavens opened and these beautiful rays of light shone down to reveal that beautiful club car with those comfortable booths and the sound of peace and quiet. You know the sound of angels singing? I heard those angels.

Just as I opened the door, a lady stood up and left, leaving just one booth available ... for me.

Oh the relief.

I sat down and opened my little box of sweets from Kunara, then opened my iPad and found Netflix, which automatically opened to 'Grace and Frankie'.

I sat back and breathed a sigh of contentment.

For the remaining 3 hours, I giggled my way through three episodes of Grace and Frankie, shared my booth with an older couple for about 20 minutes and eventually found my way back to my seat for the last 20 minutes of the journey.

That's when I had a conversation with the lady sitting in the seat beside me.

I was SO happy to reach Howard and see Adoring Husband waiting on the platform for me.

I was SO happy to finally get home.

Today, in Australia, it is Vegan Chickie's birthday, but in USA where she is, it's not yet her birthday. So ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY VEGAN CHICKIE! I hope this is your best birthday ever! Big hugs and love from your mother in the Southern Hemisphere!

I think I need to sleep now.

Nite all.    

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Terra Firma

Thank goodness my feet a firmly planted on terra firma.

I'm done with flying for a while I think!

I slept very poorly last night.

After the fire brigade arrived at our doorstep with two trucks and sirens sounding, it took a while to settle the nerves and by the time I tidied and cleaned the apartment (to make it look as good as when I entered - as the instruction sheet requested), and by the time I set both of my electronic devices to wake me five minutes apart, I still couldn't seem to settle.

I was so worried that I would sleep through the alarms and miss my flight, that I just couldn't relax!

It was 1.30am when I fell asleep the first time. I woke at 3.30am and my alarms were set for 4.30am and 4.35am, so dozed restlessly for the last hour.

The shuttle was booked for 6am and I had to be waiting on the footpath in front of my building by 5.50am. It didn't arrive until 6.30am.

By the time we picked up other passengers, we didn't get on the road to the airport until quite late. It was raining steadily and the traffic was heavy. The last 7kms took 21 minutes. We were crawling.

Melbourne airport is not as straight forward as every other airport in the land and at first I was a little confused about where to go, but I finally got it sorted and then found myself a morning coffee.

There was nothing gluten free for me to eat at any of the cafes and I hadn't eaten dinner the night before, so I was feeling peckish. The coffee seemed to fill the void and I still had 2 hours until boarding, so I bought myself a magazine and made myself comfortable. This was my view ...

At 8.40am I went to the gate that was printed on my boarding pass, but the TV screen said that it was a Sydney flight boarding there. I went looking for the big screen to discover that I was boarding at gate 5 now and that the flight was delayed by 30 minutes and not boarding until 9.35am.

My flight actually took off at 10.20am.

It was a turbulent flight, like a roller coaster ride and the trolley service was even suspended for 20 minutes because it was too dangerous. I practiced meditation to drown out both the fear and the screaming children. This also made the 2 hours go much faster.

I was very grateful to plant my feet firmly on the ground and even happier that an Uber driver was only two minutes away and was able to drive me directly to Rebel Mardi's and The Lifesaver's home.

And what a beautiful home it is! I love these guys and they made me feel welcome as soon I stepped on their driveway.

Rebel Mardi had to work this afternoon, so I hitched a ride with her, and while she worked, I stepped into the first hair salon that I saw and got my hair washed and blow dried. I hadn't washed it for eleven days!! It really didn't look that bad, but was starting to feel a bit oily on my scalp.

I made up for my lack of shopping in Melbourne, by doing a Boutique crawl in Buderim. Gorgeous little boutiques just waiting for my money. When I was almost broke, I walked to the top of the hill to the tavern and ordered myself a vodka and tonic. A perfectly relaxing way to spend an afternoon!

We came home and made ourselves presentable for dinner at the Creek Tavern. Rebel Mardi and I enjoyed a GF chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto and served on a bed of sweet potato mash with asparagus ...

... The Lifesaver enjoyed a "sensational" Aloha Parmigiana! (sorry, no pics of that one).

Rebel Mardi and I talked and talked and talked and talked and then talked some more, until we were both exhausted and excused ourselves for bed.

Here it is, 11pm and I am in desperate need of sleep!

So ...

Nite all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

One More Sleep

Even though the day started out very rainy, I've had a lovely solitary day in Melbourne.

I've walked a lot (without being lost) and I window shopped. Yes you read that correctly.

'Window shopped'

Not one single solitary thing was bought, except for coffee and food.

I'm considering visiting the casino this evening. I did go there briefly after lunch, but I was feeling overwhelmed by the city and I also felt a little tired, so I've spent the afternoon in my apartment, which has been very quiet and very calming and very relaxing.

My shuttle bus is booked for tomorrow morning and unfortunately the 7am bus was full, so I'm on the earlier 6am shuttle. That will give me plenty of time to play with once I'm at the airport, so I'm ok with that. A leisurely breakfast might be in order.

I'm looking forward to catching up with Rebel Mardi and The Lifesaver tomorrow. It's been FOREVER!!

I'm also looking forward to getting home and sleeping in my own bed.

It's 7.30pm and I'm feeling a bit peckish. I didn't think I would want dinner after a decent lunch, but my tummy tells me otherwise.

I think I will steer clear of the casino and order in .. apparently there are restaurants nearby that deliver!

Have a happy hump day!

Nite all.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Time's Up

Well, Dadu arrived today, to take over Chicklet caring duties.

Chicklet was so excited to see her Dadu, that Bozzy Wozzy was able to leave with a fond farewell - no tears from either of us!

It warmed my heart to see them getting on so well. They were both glowing with happiness and there was laughter and animation.

Chicklet was getting annoyed that I was taking Dadu's attention away from her, so that was when I figured it was my best opportunity to depart without there being a scene.

I left notes regarding everything, as well as explaining everything, but Chicklet has a handle on it all anyway, so she will issue the necessary instructions.

Here I am in a 17th floor apartment overlooking the city, the river and the casino. This is the view from my bed - I was lying in bed as I took this photo.

It's almost midnight on a Monday and looking at the traffic on the road and the people walking the streets, you would think it was the weekend. It's crazy busy down there.

It's almost midnight and I am exhausted.

When I wake in the morning, I will have 24 hours to myself. What to do. What to do.

Nite all.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

East is West and West is East

Google maps told me to head East.

I searched for 'Melbourne Aquarium' and Google Maps told me to go East.

So, of course, I headed West.

Why? You ask.

Beats me.

I KNOW which direction East is, from our front door. I have no idea why I chose to go in the opposite direction.

I have no idea why I kept walking in the wrong direction for fifteen minutes!

I have no idea why it took me that long to double check Google maps to discover that I was on the wrong side of town.

Chicklet and I have now named ourselves 'Team Lost'.

We gave up and walked the lesser distance to the Vic Markets and bought some Pokemon miniatures. Then we walked home and played Pokemon battles all afternoon. I believe that made for a more successful afternoon that the aquarium would have been anyway!

Chicket's challenge for the day was to draw a picture of her favourite activity with Bozzy Wozzy for the week that I've been here.

She drew a picture of us having Pokemon battles in the lounge room.

I didn't eat until dinner time today and I'm feeling very weary ... not enough energy going in, for the energy that I used up.

Bed time for me.

Nite all.