Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rain drenched grass

Traveled down to Aireys on Friday night 1 hour 20mins door to door. The new freeway extension is great, though the works on the Anglesea road slow things at present, but should improve as it is finished.
Spencer was very pleased to see me and slept all the way, I think stressed by all the stress!
The rain has been abundant down here and the first order of business was to organise for Rohan to come and slash the grass. It is knee high in places and the plants I put in in June are swamped by weeds. But the shrubs near the back fence have grown and look settled in well.
I managed to clear them this morning and plant a few I bought at the Aireys School Market.
I also went to the launch of an Art exhibit at The Eagle's Nest gallery, even going so far as to buy a picture. It is a mixed media of digital photo (of Aireys area) and fabric paper and stitching called Rockpool. Will try to take a photo tomorrow Can pick it up after 22nd. The artist was there, but is a local and known to many, and every time I went to speak to her a local gushed up and I was at the edge of the crowd again!!
Have the book launch at 6pm of Robert Ingpen's illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. It looks great as I saw some prints in the bookshop window when I went down to the ATM

Stumps 2

Although this looks a bit like yesterday there are new jacks under most of the front of the house. He is working today, & Monday while I am away, so not sure what I will see of progress on Tuesday. Probably just more of the same. Rain in the last 2 days has made the path a bit muddy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Base exposed

Confidence in the project is high, as the first challenge, "will the workmen turn up when they said?" was achieved. Not only that, but the job of digging up the concrete was finished on day one!! That was because he had 5 men there doing it (not like Matt, Celia!)
Mark reported that it was the verandah holding up the front section as there were no stumps reaching the house or the ground under the front at all. So he has jacked it up to start. He even rang me (fluked my being in the office where the phone was,) to tell me the door may be a problem with the movement up and to ring when I got home if i couldn't open the door. It was fine, but this morning it would not stay closed, so I put in a paper wedge and sms'd (a word??)him and he will fix it today.

The verandah posts are hanging free but the roof is held up by a jack.
The concern I have that is not usually shared by workmen is the survival of the garden!
I feel I should not be fussy about this when the logistics of the job mean they have to tramp close to the house, and the garden is so close. But I did move the pots out of the danger area and hope the Just Joey rose will survive.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

House renovations

Celia and I have decided to do some renovations (structural) to the house instead of selling and moving to an apartment.
So Step One is getting the house re-blocked (or re-stumped depends on the age of who you ask!) It has a decided lean to the front with a ghastly crack appeared in the wall between the main house and the brick wall of the newer (but old) part. The drought has made it worse drying out the ground and shifting the base.
The carpet needs replacement anyway and we need a new gas heater , it makes some weird noises at times. So a few big changes.
Mark is doing the work and his first job is to take down the front veranda a rather ugly add-on, made of concrete (painted red when we moved in) and brick while the house is weatherboard. There is also a crack appearing where the bricks meet the concrete veranda and a decided lean on the veranda level.
The first step is to jack hammer the concrete up including the path in front of where I park the car. I have alerted the neighbours about the potential noise!
He starts tomorrow and has said it will take about 10 days. We shall see!!!
The other aspect is to get Spencer away as he will annoy the workers as well as escape when gates are open etc and when the front is open he just needs to go under the house and out the front .
He is going to stay at Judy's tomorrow & if he behaves, can come again i.e. will stay out from under her bed where he not only snores but lurches the bed every time he gets up or moves. Judy says she will not get a higher bed!!
I will pick him up again on Friday and go down to Aireys Inlet. Mark will work Saturday and Monday so I will miss some of the mess as I am away for Cup Day long weekend.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


A surprise Nurses' pay rise (forgot about it ) prompted to me to spend it, supporting the national economy in the process!! So I bought a jacket I have been seeing for a few years, Celia has one the same but red, but we are far enough away to not clash too often. I will wear it out tonight as we go to a Jazz performer competition in Richmond.

Bridie gave me a national gallery (NGV) membership for my birthday so when I went to collect my coat I went to the gallery for a coffee then remembered the Member's lounge. It was a well appointed room so I relaxed with a free latte and the Saturday paper. I expected peace and quiet but that was not to be.
A man was there with 2 children one a toddler happily playing but clacking bits of a puzzle onto the board. The baby was also happy but squealing with pleasure every now and then. At times the frustrations of the puzzle got to the toddler and he let out a shriek following by a loud SSH from Dad. At the next sofa setting a man was espousing to his partner about the plot and meaning of The enigma of Kaspar Hauser ' He wasn't loud just not quiet.
Meanwhile the peace (?) was disturbed by the release of a large goose into the room. When I sought it out it transformed before my eyes into the form of a man blowing his nose ; 5 long hoots at regular intervals-- then peace.
A woman then arrived to have a coffee, and the goose was commenting on the pattern of the coffee machine in how it released the coffee first then the milk and how one he had used at some other place had done the milk first a nd how that wasn't how it should be done for the best flavour!
The woman opposite me (the only quiet space in the room) was joined by her teenage daughter who whined that she wanted to go, her mother then encouraged her to get a hot chocolate, her final agreement only coming after several minutes of how she just HAD to go NOW.
I had finished my coffee and decided the Gallery itself might be quieter so went up to see a exhibition called Renew of some of the first works purchased for the Photographic exhibition gallery at NGV.
It was lovely with some great works.
In the evening I went to Carolynn's for a 'Girls' Night In" fund raising dinner for Breast Cancer research. You eat in and give the money you would have spent dining out to the appeal. We had a lovely night.
We finished the evening with some mini cupcakes All the rage the last few years!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Apple Blossom

The sudden appearance of the Apple trees in bloom was a lovely sight. Must have missed it's beckoning buds. The last two week have been heavy with babies who won't eat. The plan to admit four to get their naso-gastric tubes out was very time consuming. The process,however, while exhausting (days of 8-6:30 at times) had its lighter moments. The last three were all 14-17 months so just starting to walk, talking ++and keen to try things themselves. One little boy had tried some jelly, but found it a funny substance so had spat it out. It fell on the table and he had trouble picking it up, so just leaned down and sucked it off the table, Dad then put some more down and he did it again, then ate it off the spoon. Dad, who was a chef, remarked he never expected to plate food up on the table surface! This same man started crying when his boy opened his mouth for some yogurt. "I never thought to see him eat"
So, tiring but rewarding!! All went home without their tubes and eating and drinking fairly well.
We have a big open meeting next week of any hospital staff interested in feeding problems especially kids having Naso-gastric tubes that have been in for a while. Should be interesting to see who they are and what they expect to happen. The Hospital has no funding plan or any programming planned just an ad hoc expectation.
Several Australian families have traveled to Graz in Switzerland where there is a 5 week program weaning them off feeds and then when hungry, encouraging eating through play and no interference. The Oz government has paid for some of thesm to go, so we are submitting funding requests to do it here. We could do it for $5000 per child instead of $100,000 that they have paid!! But commonsense is not very common!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spring Showers bring forth....

The regular rain we have had over the last month has brought out the spring blooms As well as these, there is the apple blossom, the roses, the lilac and the Mock Orange-All looking beautiful

The kids

After I visited the cemetery, I went on down to Mordialloc to collect some wine, that was a fund raiser for the Vietnam Nursing group.The shop was at the roundabout, and the highway there has service lanes on both sides so I had to go round a few times and up to the other roundabout to come back again In the end I got a park at the door!!
Then I went on down for a quick lunch at Andrews. The kids were home and in fine form demonstrating their skills on the hammock. What skills? you may ask
See the video to explain!
Also a picture of Monty who has GROWN!!! She is a poodle -retriever cross, Seriously cute!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

the new machine

At last it has been sunny enough and I have had the time to take some pictures of the new car
It's a Mazda 2 Genki 2009.
The poetic description of the colour is 'radiant ebony mica' and in the dark looks black, but as you can see (Use your imagination!) it is a deep eggplant sort of colour.
It has all the mod cons; electronic windows and side mirrors, 6 stack CD player, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control and has a jack for my iPod. Also has automatic lights so I don't need to even turn them on! and they go off automatically.There si alos the internal light that comes on when I unlock the car.
Good deep boot,more spacious than it looks and a light in the boot.. The design (sorry missed the very front of the car) makes it hard to tell where the front of the car is , but practice will tell. I also have trouble working out how far away the back is as the mirror gives a sort of tunnel view. I am used to seeing the back window, not the back of the car.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The new Children's Hospital building is moving apace!
It is interesting to see that the building is a lot closer to the existing building than seem initially apparent; so there will be more open space to the west. In the picture below you can see the entrance and (left) the eastern end abutting the part of the older building that will be retained.
Despite earlier reports that there would be no lifts in the building being retained, they are being built on the outside and causing disruption floor by floor as they work on the attachment.
The wards facing the park are already glassed in and we are told you can see the "Main Street" paved! that is the central access in the building.

The Mouser!

I was alerted to the springtime return of the mice to the kitchen. I haven't seen any but obviously they are there! So I have set up some traps again.

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