I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired


My mother has always been one for a good adage. “Better an old man’s darling, than a young man’s fool” came forth when both my sister and I married men almost a decade older than we were; though neither groom probably considered themselves old. “Go to the doctor and you will get sick” is another one; not so much for the germs you might pick up in the doctor’s waiting room, but for the other ills they find along the way.

I experienced that first hand this week. Investigations for the root cause of blood pressure issues resulted in some incidental findings. Incidental was the doctor’s choice of adjective. I prefer mind numbing, or while not immediately catastrophic, certainly has me contemplating that my goal to live to 102 might be a wee bit optimistic.

Drama Queen that I am, I feel like a ticking time bomb! The doctor mustn’t think so however, as he has sent me off for more tests with instructions not to return to his office for eight weeks! So, I am trying to refrain from lurching through the day, clutching my chest moaning, my heart, my heart! Though it isn’t likely in the short term I have asked Minerva, my erstwhile Library aide, that should I clutch anything between chest and stomach before collapsing to the floor, to be so kind as to not ask the front desk to phone for an ambulance, but to dial triple zero directly. She has solemnly agreed, though I suspect there may be days when my behaviour may influence her to walk very slowly towards the phone to make that call!

Now I am on enough tablets to make me rattle like a child’s shaker toy. I have to take a half tablet of this or that, every day, then every second day, but at the same time take a half of something new, but only on the days I am not taking another tablet. I am sure there are instructions to stand on the west side of the hill, wait for the sun to be at a 30 percent angle to my right foot and to twirl twice before taking a quarter of some pill.

I am feeling old and very mortal. I have taken to wearing purple.

No, really I have. Purple is a colour I have not worn very much since the 1970s, when I was oh so glamourous, but a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a purple tunic. I wear it with black leggings, and every time I do I receive compliments. One gentleman colleague told me I was looking exceptionally lovely in my purple and I giggled like a sixteen-year-old. I didn’t think I was capable of such frippery. Didn’t matter that the colleague is gay, I was all a flutter.

Speaking of colour, the doctor’s office has fire engine red walls. This week’s visit was my second visit, accompanied by Mr FD. Mr FD sat in the office at least 90 minutes this week, reading on his ipad, while I was poked and prodded. Later, I said, that I thought red was a poor choice for a medical office (blood and phobias etc.). Mr FD looked very puzzled and said, “Red? There was a red wall?” More than one, actually.

Obviously, the purple is lost on him.

oh just a morsel then…

I feel a bit ripped off by the weekend. It was very social. I find being nice exhausting and so by the end of the weekend I was feeling depleted. Happy but depleted as only an introvert can be!

Saturday we collected the exercise bike from a former colleague, a lovely woman who was so kind to me during my very first teaching job. It seems so long ago, and it was such a difficult time that I almost walked away from teaching before I even really started. However, Colleague and I have kept in touch through social media, and the gifting of the exercise bike meant a trip to the city and a good twenty minutes of polite conversation in her driveway as Mr FD loaded the bike into the back of our car.

To recover, Mr FD and I treated ourselves to lunch, something we haven’t done for months! We both chose the barramundi fish with pea mash and sweet potato chips. We were quite decadent and followed up with dessert. I chose the orange crème brûlée that was just perfection in a ramekin. I would have ordered a second helping without much prompting! Mr FD declared he would order something more “manly”; an apple and rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice-cream. How a dessert can be manly, I don’t know, but he was more than satisfied with his choice.

lunch 1

lunch 2

Sunday, I lunched with my favourite girlfriend, the one I have known since kindergarten. She and her husband have just returned from a trip to South America and climbing  Machu Picchu, as you do! Friend had news of a mutual friend who has had her foot amputated due to complications arising from diabetes. A lack of self care – so sad.

After the exhilarating  gustation of the previous day, I settled for a chicken soup with mushrooms and basil. It arrived in a bowl large enough to bath a small babe, and with a bread stick roll that was almost too large for the soup bowl. I have to admit that I had chosen soup as I was expecting a smaller meal! I did my best, but have to admit the soup defeated me. The glass of white, didn’t however.

sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite

bedtime 1

Media likes to promote the idea the intimate relationships can easily be maintained into the later years. I am of the opinion that a twenty something writing about the physical life of elders has no understanding of the logistics involved.

For example, simply sleeping close together in bed.

I am usually asleep before night owl Mr FD comes to bed. Now that it is winter, he is naturally drawn to my warmed side of the mattress. We have been married too long for me to entertain the illusion that it is anything more than the need for comfort that draws him neigh!

Now this is where the problems arise. I prefer to sleep on my left side, facing towards the edge of the bed. Mr FD draws near, but to borrow a quote he has a “belly like a bowl full of jelly” so while his top half might align well, his tummy pushes my spin out of its comfort zone. So even if asleep, I awaken and some realignment takes place to find a comfort zone.

Further issues are that my neck issues mean I need a certain amount of pillow to support my neck, the rotator cuff injury results in a limited number of positions for my right arm unless I want to experience pain. I often have to sleep with a small pillow under my right arm.

Add to this the fact that Mr FD wears a CPAP mask and we not only have to make placement for the mask, but the hissing in my ear makes me feel as though I am lying down beside Darth Vader. He also suffers from restless leg syndrome so will move randomly from moment to moment. It is not just legs though – his hand twitches, and he can have a whole body “jump” as well.

So, after ten or more minutes of grumping and annoyance we finally settle into some form of mutually acceptable comfort and settle to sleep. Mr FD usually disregards my death threats, because he is just that type of guy – senseless.

Five minutes later I am so hot from Mr FD’s extra body heat I have to throw back the blankets and order Mr FD to his side of the bed. A number of death threats have to accompany this request before Mr FD rolls to the cold side of the bed.

Right, romance all the way.

Reliquaries, fuddling cups, turnips and Mr FD.

Petite Fille declared this elephant "silly" for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!

Petite Fille declared this elephant “silly” for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!


Thankfully, I am not in a position to be involved in disaster management for the Queensland Museum’s current exhibition, Medieval Power : Symbols and Splendour.   During our visit, yesterday, as part of Mr FD’s birthday celebration, we played a game of “what two items would you save” and my choice did not fall to papal rings, or a saintly reliquary. I chose a combination ear scoop and tooth pick, and a minuscule fuddling cup.

To me, they were the most interesting artefacts in the display, and preferred over the dozens of noble seals that were on display. We debated whether the word befuddled orientated from the concept of a fuddling cup, on the journey home. We all agreed it probably did.

Prior to visiting the exhibition we (Mr FD, Daughter1, Petite Fille, my sister and I) enjoyed a lovely lunch at the GOMA Bistro, overlooking the Brisbane River. We toasted Mr FD with a glass of white. I chose the watercress, peach, salami, truffled mozzarela and capers salad, as did my sister which did not disappoint either of us. Mr FD chose the steak. Later we enjoyed slice of Opera cake with coffee before we drove back to The Village.

Petite Fille, unlike most children rarely falls asleep in a the car, but after a swimming lesson in the morning and a day walking around museums and galleries, for once succumbed to slumber.

She had been quite excited that the day was to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. I had barely risen from bed when she was pleading to make Grandpa a birthday cake. I made the mistake of allowing her to sort through my collection of cake tins, and that is how we came to bake a ginger cake in a gingerbread man tin! Ho ho Grandpa!

I think it was one of the more memorable birthdays of recent times for Mr FD. He continued his celebrations into the evening, enjoying a drink or two before bed. The day must have led to the land of dreams, for I heard him mutter in his sleep, “I can’t help it, it is turning into a turnip!”

another week in Flamingo Dancer world


I may have suggested, on more than one occasion, that they quickening their pace, clean up their mess and give my library back to me. For two weeks, Minvera and I have tried to function, which includes loaning books to over a thousand students, while the I.T. team have had hundreds of laptops, chargers, cases  and various bits of computer accessories were strewn across the library. Friday was “return” day and there was no way they were leaving until the work was done. It was hot, muggy weather, but I kept them on task  (they may have been scared, in truth) and they actually made it. Sadly, I had to thank them for doing their job. Damn that being nice.

Why they have to pile laptop cords on couches and not into a storage container defeats me, but maybe it is because the I.T. team are male. At the end of this year when the process commence again, I shall make sure that they have HUGE storage containers (charged to they budget!) so that filth is not spread across our recently cleaned couches. Or they will cease to breath.

On the positive, it meant that we didn’t open during student breaks, so no having to discipline students and teach them how to behave in a library.  Hopefully, after two weeks of school, many of the more difficult students from last year will have found somewhere else to hang out. I can only hope!

We reopen for breaks on Monday. It may also be the opening of “potato drinking season” for Minerva and I.

Just to make things more exciting, I developed an infection in my “gone” eye and was out for two days. Eye drops, antibiotics, blood tests and swabs. It is improving now, but an infection in an eye socket (my right eye was removed due to a tumour when I was 18, for those who are new to my blog) is nothing to ignore. A little close to the brain, but as Mr FD gleefully informed me, that one needs to possess a brain first. We were not amused, and he is now aware of his folly.

Saturday has become “Play day with Grandma”, since Petite Fille moved in. I am not sure how this came to be, but it does appear that Daughter1 and Mr Boy have a Saturday to do list connected to their house renovations and Petite Fille is only too happy to spend the day with Grandma and Grandpa.

Today, we watched through the window as Grandpa drove the ride-on mower about the lawn. It was especially fun when it started to rain, and Grandpa became soaked through. Later, Grandpa disappeared through the garden to mow the footpath. Not long after, Grandpa reappeared on foot. “The mower is broken! I can’t get it to restart!”

Son went down later to check it out. Yes, it was out of petrol. I think it was a ploy to get Son to finish the job. If not, Mr FD is becoming a real worry…

Oh yes, another week of drama, intrigue and mystery in the world of Flamingo Dancer.


Home again, home again, likety split

dream 1

Home again
Home again
Lickety split
Where does the time go?
Where does the time go?

Home in The Village; Baby Peppercorn far, far away. Tired from our cross country journey and quite positive I won’t see the New Year in, well, not consciously anyway!

We had a blessed three weeks with our new grandchild. I was to babysit Petite Fille tonight, but that family came down with sore throats and so cancelled their plans. I shall have to wait to see my “big girl” for another few days.

I returned home to Son who had done a few handyman jobs around the house, and sorted through some kitchen drawers and cupboards to tidy them as a Christmas gift to Mr FD and I. I couldn’t have asked for anything nicer! Our aim is for a simpler life in 2016, as I am sure many are hoping and wishing for as well, so Son’s efforts have been both a gift and a motivation. Tomorrow, tomorrow.

Poor Mr FD was almost strip searched again. Since his knee replacement, he appears to have become a target. I was always the one who was pulled aside for a wanding previously; because mature, grey haired, angle saxon women are sure terrorists. However, now he seems to be their target, despite wearing shorts and parading his knee scar! They had him take his runners and socks off as well.

When we were sitting on the plane, Mr FD made the comment that it was a wonder that they didn’t search his shoe heels for bombs, and I shushed him. Seconds later a little old lady from behind us tottered up the aisle towards the cabin crew and I was sure she was reporting him, but no one ran down to thrown him into the aisle and bind him with plastic ties. No surprise to anyone that Mr FD has the penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

He also tried to use earphones to listen to music on his iPhone or iPad and didn’t connect properly so three seat rows around us got treated to Mark Knofler as well. I signed to him that I could hear the music and he discussed the issue with me in a loud voice until I ripped the earphones from his ears. Well, I thought it was the earphones he seemed to speak loudly ALL THE TIME.

We had a middle and aisle seat, but no one claimed the window seat, so I slid over and pretended I knew him not. I don’t think I fooled anyone, least of all me.

Does anyone else find airline food extremely salty? Son-in-law the food technologist explained some time ago that salt and sugar get added altenatively until the “flavour” is achieved. Since trying to reduce salt and sugar, I notice the salt in processed foods more and more. I guess the positive is a lessening desire for “bad” food. Notice, I said, lessening, not non-existent!

Son-in-law the engineer, Peppercorn’s Dad, is a man of his own heart. He does not view that a man’s barbecue as equal to the size of his penis. (Should I be discussing my SIL’s penis in public? Or private for that matter!Smallish pun. Ooops double entendre pun!) Anyway his manhood is not invested in the size, or brand of his barbecue.

Hence this is his barbecue:


And this is what he cooked for us last night – included marinated steak, chorizo and nectarine for a start.


One night he created a delicious rolled roast, another night spare ribs to die for. More than a hidden talent! Both our son in laws are superb cooks – we are blessed. Or at least our stomachs are!

The young men in our family are gifts. We won’t speak of the “old” men.

More to share with you, but tomorrow is another year and soon enough. To sleep perchance to dream…