Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maddy's stuff.

Although we have not settled the house yet, we have taken some items that we can use and want for keepsakes,or things we just love.
Because I needed to get some plants from the garden to prevent them dying in the heat, among them I brought home the begonia from the back step. Imagine my delight when I found the Bowl it is in was Mum's!!. Maddy had obviously kept it and was using it.

We also added the aboriginal print we gave her from Titjikala to our wall of paintings, this complements the lovely rug that was in the hall, I have it now at the foot of my reading chair where I can appreciate it on a daily basis!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A mad weekend

This is a late entry as the web last night just went on a go slow. so I gave up!
As part of Kate’s 10th birthday celebration I went to see “Wicked” with her family on Sunday. This was part of a weekend that I spent rushing from one place to the next!!
· Friday night Orientation for Thang
· a.m.Sat Shopping
· Afternoon, Yacht club and a little touring, looking for a Tennis club.
· 6.30 Dinner at Southgate (leaving Thang organised at home)
· Saw the MTC Play "Poor Boy" with Guy Pierce and music of Tim Finn (Fantastic) in the new Sumner theatre
· Sunday a.m. leave home 1030 to the city; Park and walk up to Fed square to show Thang the Tourist Centre to get maps etc and for him to find his way around
· Early lunch at Pancake Parlour (Kate drawing in the present I gave her)
· 1pm Wicked (Kate buying the Program)
· 345 finished (thought it would be earlier and planned to meet Thang on Bridge at 330.
· Rushed down and got to him 3.55
· Home by 4.20
· Left 430 to WLT
· Play Life X 3 Well done!
· Home, picked up Viet Takeaway and had tea at home with Sue and Wendy and Thang
· Crashed to bed 1015 asleep in 10 minutes!!!
· Work Monday very busy
· Left 445 walked to car
· Drove down Kings way (traffic Appalling)
· Turned to Nolan Street and up to Art centre,(traffic cleared) Collected Thang from spot he knew
· Drove to Patterson lakes (60mins good run)
· Dinner with Kate et al Roast lamb and Choc Ripple birthday cake. Andrew and Thang got on very well.
· Watched Top Gear. The car team were riding motor bikes round Vietnam!! Hysterical.
· Drove home (usual quick return 50mins)
· Crashed in bed 1030
· Up early to water the garden, walked to work, a quiet day planned!

Kate got a new scooter for her birthday and enjoyed it immensely. They were also demonstrating the stilts Andrew had made for them ‘at the other house’ A long way from fruit tins and string!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Waiting for ....

I left work early today as I needed to be home by 2.45 to meet Tat Thang Nguyen who was arriving to Homestay with me. By 4pm I was getting worried as he had not arrived I rang the numbers at Victoria University who were organising the airport pick up, but was only able to leave a message at the two numbers I had. I also left a message for my friend Deb (who was involved in the arrangements.) By 5.30 I decided he had changed arrival date and no-one told me
Then about 5:45 a car pulled up and it was Deb. The pick up had not happened and so he rang the service who said they were on the way (an hour late) but still another 45 mins later had still not arrived so he rang Deb who happened to be free and was in the area so she collected him and brought him here. He knew I was at work, and was going to ring me if no-one had come by 5pm. Se we had a hash over the poor organising over a glass of wine. Deb was pleased that I had left messages and emails as they would not know what had happened to him until they got onto Deb. Let them stew!!!
Thang (pron Tang) is studying linguistics at the Uni, meeting research people to help present his PhD. He has a 2.5 year old boy, called Vu, who in an email already is asking where is daddy?. His mother is worried he will get sick! My child development knowledge and Skype will keep things on an even keel I think.
I had an “I knew something was wrong!...” experience today A little boy I had seen early January with no weight gain for 5 months and after assessing his feeding and getting him going, he was doing well, eating more and taking small amounts of milk We were stunned 3 weeks ago to find he had lost weight! I said he must have something else going on but he was reviewed in 2 weeks and encouraged to have more calories. Well Monday he had lost more weight.
He was admitted on Tuesday and his eating is not bad (toddlers are the pickiest of eaters!) and while he doesn’t drink much milk he does have 3 small breastfeeds still. As I was leaving (to get home to meet Thang) I spoke again to the consultant and said what other investigations they were going to do….. No more they said …because he has renal disease! This is almost identical to a girl I was seeing in 2007 and I found out that mid last year she presented in cardiac failure due to renal Hypertension; had a shrivelled kidney removed and is now chubby and eating well……. Not sure how we are to pick them, but if our interventions don’t work there is something wrong with them!!
I was planning to take a before-and-after photo of the dry grass and then the change when it rains Everywhere it is yellow. I walked past the Pool front lawn and decided to take one in the park, but then saw this creeping green! Must be an underground soakage for the trees.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cranes,birds dogs and bikes

My healthy longer walk to work was stymied this week as they are filming at the warehouse building and trucks took up all the spots. But this week am back at the longer walk again, though there are still considerable more cars than there were.
The creek has been at low tide for some reason, (the moon?) and there are all these treasures hidden below. The bike looks as if it was just dumped so someone missed it I guess. The birds are looking their usual drooping posture while drying off in the sun.
The hospital building is progressing I didn't really see these cranes before, and I was trying to imagine how the driver gets up to his little cabin. A long climb!!
Opposite the hospital is a small cafe , the only one for blocks as we are at the edge of a Park and housing. These two dogs are owned by the owner /chef. They lie outside all day taking little walks around but never stray and this is right next to busy Flemington road. The little one will often sit on the shop step
and look hopeful when the door opens but never goes inside. They get a lot of attention from dog lovers going by, or the cafe regulars. Can't imagine Spencer sitting there!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend activity

This stunning visual (lol) is the closest I could get to the moon, on Friday night! There is a practical explanation for it. Astronomers explain it is because light is made up of all colours, but as it passes through dust and smoke they are scattered. Red makes it through because it has the longest wavelength. The fact that it can be explained does not make it any less beautiful. The sun the next morning was similar scarlet through the cloud. The city smelt of smoke all day and the city was almost invisible from smoke haze A southerly breeze has blown it away from the city, but it is still smoky in in all the fire areas.
I went sailing yesterday first time in over 12 months I crewed with Bernard and Jason as Amber was away having an Op on her eye. For this fair-weather sailor it was perfect, a light breeze that gradually built during the day. It was the Club Championships and we came 1st, 5th and 7th so a deteriorating performance! But very enjoyable; balmy water, cool breeze and once the smoke went, lovely! I was coughing a bit in the morning but no asthma so that was good.

Friday evening I went to Julies Stone's place for her 55th birthday "Bubbly & Cake" Met some very nice people including Moira Rayner (knew Julie from London when they met when Julie was a med student!)and lovely to be among such a select group!
Saturday night was a party for Di's 60th birthday held in her just finished studio in her backyard in Northcote Again another lovely group of people. Great music (friends of hers,) great food and company on a balmy evening Perfect!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More work

The scale of the devastation and loss from the bushfires is incomprehensible. Whole families dying, and many people still missing. A Paediatrican here is still waiting on news of her husband who was at Kinglake at the weekend; a dietitian who worked here part time several years ago has died with her husband and daughter. A friend of Maddy’s lost her home near Castlemaine, but is alive. Everyone is touched in some way. Many stories of true heroism and amazing luck as well as enormous grief. I wonder if many people who stayed to protect their homes really had the resources to do so. The speed of the fires seems to be the basis for the huge loss at Kinglake (35 dead) I’m not sure how I would cope faced with a wall of flames, and roaring wind.

This enduring image is to be developed as a poster and sold for the CFA

Work has been busy (what’s new!) but with lots of good resolution of problems as well as lots of non-eaters. They seem to come out of the woodwork!!
I am planning to do a consultation clinic to Tweddle Mother & Baby Unit for a short-term residential program for poor feeders. They said “Toddlers over 2 are the main group aren’t they?” I didn’t like to tell them that it’s the under 12 months that I want them to address, but I guess starting with the ‘easy’ ones is a start. I have drawn up a model of the clinic and will meet with them on Friday.
Still working on the changes to my Thesis of which the main argument is that the examiner thinks it’s a pre test/ post-test study!!! There is no Pre-test anything!!! But because I have statistics it is a ‘quantitative study’ not the ethnographic phenomenological or mixed method one I think. The questionnaires were to describe the group not to assess them. So I have some reasonable changes to make and then the argument!!
Had word from Vietnam re my Home stay student Tat Thang, he arrives next Thursday 19th. He should be OK to be a bit independent, as I have things on Sat (MTC) & Sunday evenings (WLT) as well as “Wicked” on Sunday week lunchtime for Kate’s birthday.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The aftermath...ongoing

We were grateful for the cool change that came through at 530 as predicted, but the change of wind turned on to Kinglake, where several people have died and many homes destroyed
At Wandong a resident and former CFA firefighter, Brian Harper, said he watched the fire crest a hill and travel 1½ kilometres in just five minutes. "There were 60 to 70-foot flames, taking the tops of trees. We were praying for Elvis (the firefighting helicopter) to come, and thankfully it arrived in time." Late last night, Wandong remained cut off, with more than 50 cars parked at roadblocks as anxious locals tried to find out if they had lost their homes.

And this is only one town. Kilmore is on fire and residents and tourists are stranded in Yarra Glen, north-east of Melbourne, after fires cut roads going in and out of town.

What is incomprehensible is that some fires are thought to have been deliberately lit. This one on the foreshore at Back Rock among them.
I was out briefly in cool clothes Imagine how HOT these guys must have been!!

The work of the CFA volunteers is enormous. They are real heroes!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hottest day on Record

TO escape the heat today, was 32 at 8.30am , I planned to spend the day at the National gallery. They obviously don't want you to linger too long as it ended up too cold to stay!! But it did get me through a few hours. Wind gusts of up to 82kmh have been reported at the Airport, where it was a sweltering 46.8 degrees at 3. pm. I presume they cancelled the Sailing event Top of The Bay!! Currently 46.4.
I took my book (The Time We Have Taken) to read between looking at the different exhibits. One was about the Bugatti Family, who I know is associated with cars. However, the Bugatti family encompasses three generations and four individuals: Carlo Bugatti, his sons Ettore and Rembrandt, and Ettore's son Gianoberto (Jean). This exhibition showed the furniture, sculpture and cars of this family. Drawn from private collections, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the furniture now in the collection of the NGV, including the last chair from Carlo Bugatti's 'Snail Room' exhibited in Turin, 1902 (and a centrepiece of the show) the exhibition includes Carlo's furniture, animal sculptures by Rembrandt, a Type 37 racing car from Ettore's workshops raced at Phillip Island, and owned by Tom Roberts (the Painter's great nephew) The furniture was fascinating and an Art deco style. The piece of beauty was this car, an Atalante, looks like this but is red not green (forgot to take my camera!) Now I always wanted to by a classic car!! On searching the web for a picture I found a reference to find in a garage in NSW when a family was sorting the grandfathers huge collection of things!! A bit different from Maddy's paper and glad wrap!!
Tonight we are off to Ethnic Elaine at Via Venuto in North Melbourne The change is due about 5pm so hope it hits before we have to go out!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

6 Interesting Things

Although you have said 6 I have only seen people put 5!
Here goes.

1. I can remember the plot of almost every book I have read

2. I am not so good at hearing song lyrics correctly.

3. I can sail a yacht and shoot a bow and arrow.

4. I am a good fast cook

5. I can speak Japanese

and 6. I can see why you run out Let me think............

I have worked in Outback Australia with the Australain Inland Mission

Frustrating Day

The day was quiet and orderly in most ways except for an underlying issue that had me muttering dire retribution.
I have a lot of patients who are being fed by nasogastric tubes and they are on what is called the HEN program (Home Enteral Nutrition) funded by the Government to the Hospital that inserts the tube. A family of 4 mth old twins who are both on tube feeding (ex prems and vomiting etc as neonates) have come to my attention from local Maternal & Child Health Nurse, as one was coming in to RCH for an Op. The tubes were put in by the Maternity Neonatal Hospital, so they are the HEN provider. However they discharged the babies to another hospital (That has a Children's ward) nearer their home and they say they are not able to provide tubes tape etc (true) but expect the family to travel back to the Maternity Hosp who say they do not treat babies after neonatal period (12 weeks). Talk about Bureaucracy gone amok! Well after this admission the father saw that we used pumps for the feeding. Great little things the size of a school lunchbox that can jut be put in the cot, under the pram, etc. no need to hang the bottle for gravity, so make life and mobility much easier.

Family had never seen these. So while they were at RCH (not really coming back so not our patients) we had our nutrition Department liaise with the otter Hospital to be sure they were on the HEN program there.We were assured they were and they went home to get the pumps organised.

I had a call at 4pm to say that the nurse had been on the phone for hours to the Mat Hosp and the other one and they denied they were on their HEN program (both of them) and they can't get pumps! If we put them on ours we use up our allocation quicker, so it should be spread around.

What riles me is that the second twin has not been admitted or seen anywhere since discharge until seen by a paediatrician yesterday, so technically she's no-ones patient! How can the system treat people like this!! Shades of the US health system!! The family had a rough time during the pregnancy with yes/no about a fetal diagnosis, further yes she has/no she hasn't cardiac afterwards etc. They are young and struggling; dad has had to us all his leave to help mum, who needless to say has PND!!!

I did have a Feel-good call though, from a hospital Paediatrician who rang me a few weeks ago about coming back to work, for some locum shifts, but her 7mth old refuses to take a bottle. She rang to say that after slowly following my advice the baby will now drink the required amount from a sipper cup. It's a Tommee Tippee one that they are now going to take off the market!! So she bought two!

Also love this Ad for spray oil! "If chef's knew about this they would use it too."
Hard to see but it's a doll on the back ledge of the stove.
No-one appreciates the conditions mothers work under !!
Girding up for the weather tomorrow the most 'dangerous day for bush fire risk in Victoria for years, even more than Ash Wednesday though The Met says a cool change is expected to blow in with a south-easterly wind about 6.30pm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The other end

Celia was right about the industrial look to my walk to work. When I do a shorter trip I park near the trees, but for the longer walk I park opposite a used car yard, & a fish wholesale freezer centre, and the entrance to Western Transport Truck Depot. Today there were about 20 cars parked (usually 3) and so I ended up at the end, (or the beginning, i.e further to walk), so maybe more have got the walking and free parking idea???
I walk under 3 railway bridges of decreasing height, the area is famous for trucks stuck who do the first one and don’t realise the low warning refers to the third one out of sight in pic.!
I then walk past an electric sub station that on a sunny morning, causes a weird flashing light as the sun comes through the vertical bars in a strobe effect. At the corner I turn and face the railway crossing but have a pedestrian gate to use, then I am at the trees again.
Last week as I was driving home near the crossing, it is single lane over the tracks, but cars often charge up in the two lanes and merge abruptly. A flashy purple car did just that, but had to stop suddenly as another car had done the same. I saw them stop again (we had all been stationary) but the car behind had a gap so was moving faster and I could see it coming up on me and sure enough Bang. Not very loud or forceful but I swore mildly and pulled over, waited in the car and then a woman got out and came up as I got out. She was apologetic (and quite pregnant) saying she misjudged teh speed, and we inspected our cars and there was not a mark! Her bumper and mine were same height and we just pushed together! My brakes etc were fine so I said it’s fine As I was getting back to the car, there was a wheel cover in the way, so I went to move it and saw it was a Toyota one. She came out of the door again and said is it OK, but I said it’s not mine but is my type and ….it fits!! So now I have a 3rd cover, one more to go; hopefully not with a tail ender!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It doesn’t take long for one’s environment to change. The lovely peppercorn trees lining Arden street oval were under the chain saw today!! Not sure what they are building.
The heat has gone but we are having some humidity the last few days; so muggy but bearable at 29-31. But the heat has brought about changes as well. I’m sure it is not early autumn leaf fall but rather conservation of heat stressed trees; less leaves less water needed. My car has leaves all over it in the morning from the Pittosporum (not usually a shedder) and the park this morning was a sea of yellow and green leaves.
Spotted a black swan on the Moonee Ponds Creek. Japanese for Swan is translated as “white bird” (shirotori) so rather hard to describe a black white bird! The Overpass follows the track of the train line and the creek so is a very mixed sort of view.
This group of men attracted my interest, as one guy seemed to be selling from his van. Guess what? The Rabbit-Oh! He had boxes of Western Farmland Rabbit all commercially boxed; obviously a big business as the van was full. Never seen him before.

Had book club tonight and we discussed The Zookeeper’s War by Steven Conte (Oz author who won the Prime Ministers' Award) Set in Germany an Australian woman married before the war to a German. It was interesting view of the deteriorating confidence in the German government and the stress of those in Berlin with endless bombing runs. Of interest also as I saw Valkyrie at the weekend.
The other book was Small Secrets by Maree Egglestone, a novel, based on her days as a student nurse at Prince Henry’s in 1974. Lots of memories and similar episodes came to my mind. She did her Paediatrics at Prince Henry’s on the ward where I was Charge nurse for a year in 1978/79 but many nurses went to the Children’s. She said, “Comparing 10 West with the Royal Children's Hospital was like comparing Porepunkah State School to Melbourne University” Not sure what we are reading next I think Steven Carroll The Time we have taken, Then The White Tiger

Christmas Lights

While Brooklyn Victoria is not on the scale of Brooklyn New York a local street is becoming  the for Christmas lights So we planned a walk ...