Mr FD and I took some food over to his parents on Saturday afternoon. His father, aged 93, is not eating, and has lost a lot of weight, so we tried to tempt him with a few nice treats.

It was not quite the success we had anticipated as he sat and chewed each mouthful, and then after awhile of chewing he would spit out each mouthful onto his plate. So by the end of his meal his plate was circled with small chewed spit balls of what was once food. It is as though he is just taking the flavour and the juices from the food, but no solids.

We discussed getting protein drinks for him, but MrFD’s mother will hear none of it. He has a drink of sustagen at night and in her opinion that is quite adequate for him. We will ignore her and investigate the protein drinks anyway. I checked the fridge and many of their meals from Meals On Wheels which get delivered to them during the week are sitting uneaten in the fridge. Mother Dearest looks as though she has lost weight as well. She is 88.

She is almost as bad as the old man. When she eats she has started clicking her teeth together so there is this incredible clunking noise as she chews her meal. He is chewing and spitting and she is chewing and clicking and we sit in the middle waiting for the minutes to tick by so that we can flee.

It is time for them to go into care, well past the time, but they are yet to sign the papers. Doesn’t matter how much of a burden they are to their children, they think it is their right to demand constant servitude. The burden is mostly upon Mr FD’s sister, mostly due to her own efforts many years ago, when she intervened when we almost had them in care, so letting her stew is her due in some ways, but not to this degree.

One can live too long, for one’s own sake, and the sake of the family.

There, I said it.

this is getting a bit old…

The house has been overrun by ants the last few days, a sure sign of more rain in my old wives tale book, and last night the news reports were filled with news of two cyclones (akin to northern hurricanes) heading towards northern Queensland. Not the best kind of news as any time, but when we are still drying out, and in many places, still bucketing, it is enough to strike terror in the bravest hearts. They will cross the coast in the northern part of the state (GOF Land) but the rain may travel south to our corner again.

Mr FD and I just went into list making. Ok, we need some fresh batteries for the large torches, and a spare bulb; a new filament for the gas lamp. Now that we now power goes off early for us, we will make sure we have more long life food if it comes to that. Petrol in all the cars, last time we only filled one car, the 4wd, and then when I needed to get to work there was a shortage which could have caused me issues as I need to drive 40 minutes to the school. Battle hardened.

It is odd though, just a week ago all of Australia came together in a love fest to help each other out, but now, now that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard wants to introduce a levy, for exactly one year, that would cost most average earners between $50-100AUS across the year, many Australians are crying foul. Not our problem.

Mr and Mrs Public seem to have the idea that the money will be given just to flood victims when it will be used to rebuild roads and bridges. It will enable fresh food to get to markets, tourists to travel the country and railroads to carry the minerals to port. Things that keep our economy growing.

So I am a little taken aback, at how quickly the milk of human kindness runs dry. We really learn little, even from the hard knocks. What is the line – there are none as blind as those who will not see?

[Do you think if we sacrificed Tony Abbott, the weather gods will turn a kinder hand to us?]

felling the forests

my private world - the courtyard leading from my office

I have a lovely private courtyard that leads off from my office. I can just open the glass sliding door and sit in seclusion to think awhile or eat my lunch.

As shown by this quick shot I took through the closed door, it needs some TLC. No one has cared for it in recent times. I asked the groundsmen to come and hack away some of the growth. We thought the biggest plant was just leaning because it had grown too tall for the space, but closer inspection showed it had a huge tap root growing from the bottom of the pot and out into the drain of the other side of the screen. It also had roots growing into the neighbouring pot.

The decision was that the plants were inappropriate for the spot and so I asked for them to be taken away. I requested that the pots be returned though, and could I have some fresh soil in them please?

It appears that dirt was nowhere to be seen, and I was instructed to put in a purchase order for some dirt. Yes, the pun was obvious – dirt cheap dirt!

I was told that some will arrive one day soon.