Archive for August, 2015

454. Sunday 23rd August 2015. Visiting family, friends and pain…

26/08/2015

Photographic credit this week goes to Donnis.

Monday 17th August

Not much happened today. Just a lot of moping around the house fighting pain. A visit to the GP brought a fresh supply of pain tablets. Only time will tell if they work.

Tuesday 18th August

The bandages came off today. The scar is 40mm in length and the sutures were all sub cutaneous. The scar is neat and clean.

In the afternoon I visited Dynamic Hand Therapy to commence physiotherapy. Heat pad, vitamin E cream and finger exercise five times a day.

Wednesday 19th August

Visited Errol Nicole and Amelia and Hannah. Physiotherapy and pain relief are not a match made in heaven. At least the new 12 hour Targin pain relief tablets do give some windows of comfort. At these times I feel incredibly sleepy and fall asleep for an hour or so. Luckily Errol has a comfortable lounge in his office.

Thursday 20th August.

We visited Joan G who lives in the far western suburbs of Sydney. Her husband Mel and I were good friends. He was a regular team member of my squash team many years ago. We also teamed up to paddle the rapids in my Canadian Canoe on the Shoalhaven River. Mel passed away in May this year while Donnis and I were in Canada. We paid our respects and had lunch with Joan. She also has a comfortable lounge which I used for a much needed snooze.

Mel, Rest in Peace my friend.

Friday 21st August

Today we visited my 90 year old Aunt Gwen who lives in Redfern. She has lived in the same street although in several different flats for more than 50 years.

After our visit we went to Centennial Park which at 189 hectares is less than half the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver Canada.    http://www.centennialparklands.com.au/places_to_visit/centennial_park   Stanley Park also has a wonderful location on Vancouver Harbour. Centennial Park, unlike Stanley  Park has free parking. We did not take the time for a stroll around some of the many ponds. We did stop for a fish n chips lunch. No Basa. Real local fish.

We then drove to Maroubra Beach particularly the high sandstone cliff headlands to the north of the beach.

Can you imagine standing on this ledge and casting your line into the raging see thirty metres below?

Can you imagine standing on this ledge and casting your line into the raging see thirty metres below?

I have written about trig points in earlier posts but most of them are in more bushland type settings. Amazingly this one is still mostly vandal free,

I have written about trig points in earlier posts but most of them are in more bushland type settings. Amazingly this one is still mostly vandal free,

We stopped to look over Mahon Pool to the beach and the southern headlands.

Waves rolling onto rocks at Maroubra.

Waves rolling onto rocks at Maroubra.

Mahon Pool and on this day was more like a washing machine. We saw one brave (foolish) man enter the pool but after getting swirled around by a wave quickly left.

Mahon Pool and on this day was more like a washing machine. We saw one brave (foolish) man enter the pool but after getting swirled around by a wave quickly left.

I wrote about this almost identical visit at post 251 in May 2012.    https://frankeeg.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/251-sunday-6th-may-2012-sydney-wollongong-sydney-wollongong-sydney-wollongong/   Today was also a fine sunny day but with the added bonus of large waves crashing over the rocks and through Mahon Pool.

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g1767596-d5865842-Reviews-Mahon_Pool-Maroubra_Randwick_Greater_Sydney_New_South_Wales.html

Visual clarity was better today and the gun emplacement on the southern cliffs near the rifle range we much clearer.

A pill box on the southern cliffs of Maroubra Beach.

A pill box on the southern cliffs of Maroubra Beach.

http://www.forgottenoz.com/getting-up-close-to-malabar-bunkers/

We noticed whale watching tours were not far offshore,

http://www.whalewatchingsydney.net/  Different tours cater to different needs and wallets. On one tour you are sure to see whales and have air conditioned comfort, toilets and food. The other is sure to see whales, is crowded and cramped and you are guaranteed to get wet and cold.

Comfortable whale watching boat.

Comfortable whale watching boat.

Adventurous whale watching.

Adventurous whale watching.

Whale watching choice comparison.

Whale watching choice comparison.

In the afternoon I had hand therapy.  Pain relief is not working the way it should. The therapist believes I am in a nerve pain cycle and need a different medication. I have been trying to conserve my Panadene Forte for night time use but am almost out of tablets. It would be so nice to have a pain relief injection to put me to sleep for 6 weeks and when I wake my hand is pain free and back to normal. Apart from the pain, the therapist tells me I am doing great and the swelling has reduced and finger movement has increased. I am sure she is measuring in micro millimetres and is just telling me I am doing well to keep me focused.

Sigh!

Saturday 22nd August

Saw the doctor who agreed to issue nerve pain relief starting with one tablet per day. It will also make me drowsy and sleep at night.

Donnis drove to Wollongong to baby sit. Good for her. I am not a happy camper when in pain.

Sunday 23rd August.

Not a good night. The nerve pain relief, Lyrica, certainly made me drowsy but did nothing to diminish the pain. I slept for an hour at a time.

I apologise to readers that we have not visited interesting sights this week and the posts have mainly been about pain. Pain is my biggest reality at present.

In the afternoon Donnis returned and we drove to La Perouse to visit Geoff and Margaret for dinner. Also present were caravanners Ron & Eilene whom we met at Dalmeny in March 2013.

Looking forward to a new week.

 

 

 

453. Doors…

23/08/2015

It has been quite some time since I shared doors with you.

The last year, one way or another has been busy. Now that I have a forced relaxation and some time on my hands, (actually that should be singular hand as one is still out of action) trying to type and upload photos is strangely therapeutic and for a time at least, takes my mind off the discomfort…

For the life of me I cannot recall exactly the location of this door except it was in the village of Chemainus on Vancouver Island.

For the life of me I cannot recall exactly the location of this door except it was in the village of Chemainus on Vancouver Island.

Chemainus is a small village on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It was an unincorporated logging village established in 1858. Later a wood chip mill was established but these days the village is better known for 39 murals throughout the shopping precinct along with local arts and crafts and funky eateries. Interesting buildings and doors add to its charm.

Catholic Church Armidale

Catholic Church Armidale

Saints Mary & Joseph Catholic Church at Armidale is well endowed with many interesting doors…external as well as internal

032 clock the rocks

Hmmm! I am unable to positively identify this doorway set in magnificent sandstone in a building in the area of Loftus and Bridge Streets Sydney. Any history or architecture readers are welcome to provide positive identification.

The old Citizens Mutual Life Insurance building at Inverell. NSW.

The old Citizens Mutual Life Insurance building at Inverell. NSW.

The CML Assurance company no longer exists but the building is now used by several businesses. I recall as a teenager, fresh from High School and just started work. Assurance salesmen were allowed to speak with you in the workplace. I agreed to accept a CML Life endowment policy which I maintained for 10 years finally cashing it in when we built our second house and needed funds.

Uralla. NSW.

Uralla. NSW.

The old town of Uralla has many old buildings and of course doors. The town of Uralla is in the New England district of NSW and is an historic town established in 1850 when gold was discovered at Rocky River. Along with the gold came bushrangers. The most famous of these was Captain Thunderbolt who wandered the New England District apparently robbing the rich and giving to the poor. Or at least giving to the poor who supported or gave him shelter. His grave is located in the Uralla Cemetery.

Dorrigo. NSW

Dorrigo. NSW

Dorrigo is another small historic town in the Bellingen District, sitting atop the Great Dividing Range looking towards the coastal strip. The original reason for the town was its location to cart Red Cedar via the escarpment to the coast as well as to Armidale, the next major town in the New England District. These days many of the old buildings are gone, along with the old style doors and architecture.

Theatre Church Glen Innes. NSW.

Theatre Church Glen Innes. NSW.

The Chapel Theatre was originally a Methodist Church built in 1885 in the New England District town of Glen Innes. The Glen Innes Arts Council purchased the church in 1983 and set about converting it to a modern cinema. So modern in fact that they screen 3D Digital Dolby Stereo movies.

Glenmore Hotel. The Rocks, Sydney. NSW.

Glenmore Hotel. The Rocks, Sydney. NSW.

The Glenmore Hotel was built in 1921 by the brewing company, Tooth & Co (it no longer exists) The hotel is a pre Harbour Bridge icon in Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney and is still popular today, retaining some of the original architecture and walls. The rooftop garden which has grand views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour is also open on weekends for lunch, dinner and music.

Once a door. Guyra NSW.

Once a door. Guyra NSW.

This is a “Once Upon A Time” doorway. There was once a door here. It gave access to a rooftop garden, The town of Guyra, New England District, NSW, was like many towns established in the mid to late 1800’s. It was wealthy town, somehow the wealth being accumulated via potato farming and dairying. The town is still well known for spuds and lamb.

Art & Crafts Hall Central Tilba. NSW.

Art & Crafts Hall Central Tilba. NSW.

Tilba on the south coast of NSW is a confusing town. It is also known as Central Tilba while the sister village a few Klms to the south is known as Tilba Tilba. Both villages it seems are classified by the National Trust. All the original buildings are maintained in a condition akin of the previous century.  The main industry is dairy.

More doors to come in the months ahead.

 

 

452. Sunday 16th August 2015. House sitting at Gymea, little excursions and constant frustration…

17/08/2015

Monday 10th August

After a late hearty breakfast we travelled the huge distance, 29 Klms, from La Perouse to Gymea. The trip took 45 minutes.

Bev n Pete are leaving in the morning for a cruise on the Rhine River and we are housesitting for the next few weeks.

Tuesday 11th August

Sigh! Today was a rest day, one which I have been waiting on for several days. Thankfully the sun was shining and between my Endone and Panadene Forte managed some sleep during the day and at night.

Wednesday 12th August

Today was a bit like yesterday, spent in a drugged haze although strong winds sprang up, clouds rolled in and it rained.

The sun returned in the afternoon but the wind had a strong cold biting edge.

Thursday 13th August

Today we visited a local GP to arrange more pain relief and for the sutures to be removed next week. I am looking forward to the experience as I expect much of the pain will diminish or go away entirely.

Friday 14th August.

I will get some housekeeping out of the way. Pain dominates my day, my conversation and fitful sleep.

So I do not also experience cabin fever, Donnis drove me to Corrimal to visit Nicole, Amelia and Hannah. Errol was at work in the skies over New South Wales. The family has been sick with the flu, passing it back and forth for the last few weeks. The visit was carried out with a certain amount of trepidation lest we also catch the same bug. After lunch we went to a playground at Bellambi Lagoon on East Corrimal Beach.

Hannah at the East Corrimal playground.

Hannah at the East Corrimal playground.

Amelia at East Corimal playground.

Amelia at East Corimal playground.

This is a delightful spot especially popular with parents and children. The playground is set in a picturesque location on a lagoon with the sandhills, beach, ocean and ships at anchor as a background.

Wrapped up at Bellambi Lagoon.

Wrapped up at Bellambi Lagoon.

Bellambi Lagoon

Bellambi Lagoon

More Bellambi Lagoon.

More Bellambi Lagoon.

We realised we had visited this location in WWWGO and TERIOS in January 2012 at post 233. At the time we did not take any photos of this pretty location.

Wollongong seen from Bellambi Lagoon. On the far left is the lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill overlooking Wollongong Harbour. The chimneys in the middle are part of the steelworks at Port Kembla.

Wollongong seen from Bellambi Lagoon. On the far left is the lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill overlooking Wollongong Harbour. The chimneys in the middle are part of the steelworks at Port Kembla.

Wollongong city skyline.

Wollongong city skyline.

Late in the afternoon we returned to Miranda Fair Shopping Centre to arrange new lenses in my Oakley Sunglasses which were damaged by my face plant when I broke my wrist two weeks ago.

Saturday 15th August

Another lay day although we visited the optometrist to have my eyes checked and current prescription Oakley sunglasses repaired. Oakley lenses must be sent to the USA for repair and with a minimum cost of $500 and 6 weeks we decided something cheaper was our option.

In the evening Donnis started to feel unwell. Full body ache, sweating, headache, blocked nose and sore throat. Uh oh!

Sunday 16th August.

How do you round off a week where very little travel was completed and very little else happened?

Donnis woke feeling refreshed and healthy with no sign of the flu which threatened her last night.

We drove to Wollongong and met Errol, Nicole and the girls at Bulli Markets. Regular readers will no doubt recall I do not like markets. My market tolerance level took a backseat to pain.  We sat on plastic chairs in the food area and listened to live market music. I was happy to find a comfortable place for my wrist and concentrate on willing pain away.

That did not happen but at least it filled my time with a worthwhile project. Later I snoozed on their lounge and later still we drove home. Donnis cooked a great fillet steak and cut it into small pieces for me.

Daughter Shelley called to tell me ex mother in law passed away on Thursday after a fall at home and a few days lingering in that place between life and death. Rest in Peace Joan. My heartfelt condolences to Diane, her sisters Vivian and Roslyn.

Soon my painkillers kicked in, my eyes became heavy and I fell asleep sitting in the lounge, my place of refuge for the last two weeks.

Sigh!

I hope to have more interesting things to report this coming week.

 

451. Sunday 9th August 2015. An operation, pain, travel accompanied by pain…

13/08/2015

Monday 3rd August

Hmmm! For some reason I did not take any photos this week. I must have been distracted.

Today is the tomorrow I wrote about yesterday which will be next week when this is posted.

We visited the orthopaedic surgeon today and the first comment he made was the x-Rays did not show enough detail but from what he could see the damage is worse than indicated in the report. He wanted an MRI  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_resonance_imaging  for a better view of the break. The MRI people were just down the hall and within a half hour we were back with the specialist. “The MRI CD is blank”, he said. So it was back to the MRI people to get a CD with my data on it or a new scan. Luck was, for once, in our favour and we were back in 10 minutes. Hmmm! The break is worse than expected with cartilage totally broken and pieces of bone floating around. I need surgery, plates and screws and an arthroscopic clean-up. The op is set for Wednesday. In the meantime leave the cast on, do not get it wet and continue the Endone which “gum” up the works. Grrr!

On top of pain and discomfort will be added the annoyance of constipation.

Tuesday 4th August

Not much happened today. Just sitting around feeling sorry for myself and somehow getting the timing of pain relief out of step. Within two hours of missing my dose of Endone the pain made sure I quickly got back onto my dose.

Wednesday 5th August

Suddenly it is Wednesday, the day of the operation.

We arrived at Allamanda Hospital at the appointed hour and I joined a group of people sitting around in hospital gowns awaiting their turn. It seems all but two of us are day surgery.

All went well, apparently. From my misty pain shrouded perch it is hard to believe “all went well”. My wrist is wrapped tight as a drum and the oral pain relief is ineffectual. I was offered morphine to take the edge off the pain and to allow me to sleep. I have no idea how long I lay in the dark, considering chewing off my hand and wrist, anything, to stop the pain and be able to sleep. The nurse arrived and duly gave another morphine injection. Eventually the new day arrived.

Thursday 6th August

Breakfast arrived but alas, not sleep.

Soon, a practitioner from the Australian Hand Therapy Association   http://www.ahta.com.au/   arrived. Within minutes she was building my very own splint, attached it to my wrist and was gone. Then the surgeon arrived with great news.   (  http://goldcoastupperlimbcentre.com/) The break was much worse than expected. He used words like, shattered. I was waiting for the great news. The news was that those pieces able to be brought back together in line were kept in line with plates and screws. Those pieces unable to be repaired were removed. The gritty sharp pieces of bone have been smoothed so nothing rubs together. He told me it was a successful operation and it’s now over to me for a successful recovery.

Back home we had dinner and after loading up on pain killers realised I would not be able to sleep in bed so found my way to the recliner chair for comfort and sleep…two hours followed by pain killers then another two hours sleep.

So it was I passed the night.

Friday 7th August

Originally we planned to leave today to drive to Sydney. Too much pain, too much discomfort and too little sleep was enough for us to decide to rest for the day, review our situation in the morning and decide then if we will travel.

Blessed rest for the remainder of the day.

Another night sleeping, on and off, in the recliner.

Sigh!

Saturday 8th August.

We managed to leave Biggera Waters by mid-morning and before long were in New South Wales with our lunch stop at Coffs Harbour four hours later.

The Endone night time pain relief and the Panadene Forte day time pain relief has sustained me thus far, not without considerable discomfort I might add.

We arrived in Port Macquarie after 8 hours on the road driving for 500 Klms.

Our wonderful hosts, Tony & Dawn looked after us including a nice recliner in front of a heater and with TV to keep me company during the small hours. I have been sleeping in a recliner since I had my accident on 2nd August.

Temperatures have dropped by only 2 or 3 degrees but the coolness in the air is noticeable.

Sunday 9th August

After a hearty breakfast prepared by Dawn we were once again on the road to our next destination… La Perouse… a suburb of Sydney on Botany Bay, a trip of 410 Klms which we cruised leisurely in 6 hours.

Geoff & Margaret are our hosts and Geoff, latent chef that he is, prepared a wonderful dinner.  Tonight I slept on a lounge instead of a recliner. My sleep hours are directly linked to the pain killer cycle.

It is colder here in Sydney.

At least I am sleeping.

450. Sunday 2nd August 2015. Sights at the beach and considerable pain…

05/08/2015

Thursday 30th July

OMG!!! It is the end of July already. Where has the time gone?

Not much happened earlier in the week.

As reported last post we sold TERIOS…more sobbing can be heard in the background…still!

Although I always said we would never have a dishwasher or a dryer the vote went against me. The other voter also has a casting vote. We bought a dryer and a dishwasher. Logically there are times when a dryer will be handy as we simply do not have any undercover area to hang the washing and during the winter the sun does not reach the drying area.

We spent the early part of the week pulling doors off the kitchen cabinet under the sink, removing shelves and sawing away the chipboard kickboard to make a space for the dishwasher. The washer is a small 45cm width and fits neatly into the space allowing 15cm space left over. We have also fitted a roll out stainless steel 15cm shelf and will use a cut down cabinet door to attach to the shelf, maintaining the line of the rest of the cabinet doors. The door and dishwasher will be installed on Sunday when the plumbing and electricity are installed.

The big event which happened today was an EARTHQUAKE! It occurred at 9.45 am about 300 Klms off the Queensland coast roughly about in line with Wide Bay. The quake was a 5.3 intensity on the Richter scale. I was drilling a hole in the wall to install a sliding tea towel holder. I heard a rumble a vibration through the floor. “Bloody concrete trucks next door” I thought. Donnis called out, “did you feel that? The TV was shaking on its stand! “Yeah” I said. “Just those noisy trucks next door”. Then our neighbour called out that she was getting phone calls and had we had an Earthquake? I turned on the radio. Sure enough there had been an Earthquake. The radio announcer asked a Senior Seismologist why a Tsunami warning had not been issued. Panic and hysteria were audibly suppressed in her voice. “We do not expect a Tsunami to eventuate and given the size of the quake and distance offshore a Tsunami would not be expected”, he said.

As events turned out, he was proven correct.

No loss of life.

No damage to buildings or property.

No mass panic. (Just mild panic from some parts of the population)

No interruption to daily life.

A topic of conversation for the dinner table.

Friday 31st July

Today we planned to go for a walk on Main Beach, Broadbeach or Southport Beach which to my mind is one beach but depending on where you are standing it could be one of those three already named or another dozen names.

Just before we left home we heard on ABC Radio, the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force for those who might not know) were going to fly a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster Cargo plane along the coast about 100 metres above sea level. That’s another good reason for going for a walk. That and of course a lovely sunny winters day with temp around 24°, little breeze if any, clear water and a half metre swell.

Glorious!

This aircraft has a payload of 77 tonnes and was being used today to raise funds and awareness for the White Ribbon Charity which has a White Ribbon Function tonight. The Globemaster left Amberley AFB about 10am flew to Byron Bay in northern NSW then flew along the coast to Stradbroke Island, across Moreton Bay to follow the Brisbane River and back to Amberley, all at low level.

C. 17A flying low over the ocean. Note the white ribbon.

C. 17A flying low over the ocean. Note the white ribbon.

Wow! What a sight.

What we did not know was the St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School Annual Fund Raising Walkathon was being held at exactly the same time. Can you imagine up to 1,000 primary students from year 1 to year six accompanied by mums and dads walking along the beach for 1 Klm then turning around and walking back.  The beach looked like mass of big ants had invaded.

Schoolchildren looking like a mass of ants.

Schoolchildren looking like a mass of ants.

How was the fund raising conducted? Easy. Each student had to attend and each parent had to “sponsor” each child. Mums and Dads were encouraged to walk and had to also pay for the privilege.

More children and Surfers.

More children and Surfers.

After the walk, those students with parents in tow were allowed to leave with their parents. Yay! An early Friday afternoon of no school.

Schoolchildren and Srfers Paradise.

Schoolchildren and Srfers Paradise.

Those children whose parents have to work were bussed back to school. Bugga!

Oh it was wonderful to walk barefoot in the sand with occasional waves sliding up the beach to wrap and splash around our feet, ankles and sometimes to our knees.310715 boat The sun was shining and within minutes we felt the wonderful radiating warmth and just a hint of breeze on our faces. We have to remember this is winter, water temperature is about the same as air temperature and only good weather is on its way.

Maybe tomorrow will be good for another walk.

Saturday 1st August

While eating lunch the table shook and the house trembled. Queensland experienced another offshore earthquake. This one was much bigger than the Thursday quake. This one measured 5,7 on the Richter scale. No property damage, no injuries, no loss of life.

About 4pm we finally went for the walk we have been wanting to do all day. We arrived at Southport Beach and as we did yesterday, we turned left and saw a new vista. This time it was a long line of beach fishers.

Taiwanese fisherman lined along Main Beach

Taiwanese fisherman lined along Main Beach

It seems both the Taiwanese and Vietnamese communities have  a beach fishing excursion here every year.

Well organised fishermen...and women.

Well organised fishermen…and women.

Both groups a separated by  500 metre stretch of beach. The sight of fishing rods along the beach stretching into the salty air in the distant gathering sunset was another wow moment for us.

Fisher persons with Surfers Paradise, in the background.

Fisher persons with Surfers Paradise, in the background.

Sailboat.

Sailboat.

Surfers Paradise reflected in the wet sands.

Surfers Paradise reflected in the wet sands.

Distinctive bronze statue, called "MELODY"by the sculpture, Frank Miles.

Distinctive bronze statue, called “MELODY”by the sculpture, Frank Miles.

Sunday 2nd August

This morning on my early morning bike ride, I took the little Sony Cybershot camera to photograph the sunrise.

Sunrise over the Broadwater.

Sunrise over the Broadwater.

Sunrise reflections.

Sunrise reflections.

Mission accomplished, I was cycling home and rode off the bike path onto the grass to avoid a group of chatters standing across the path. When I tried to return to the pathway the front wheel caught on the concrete edge and I was thrown over the handlebars. Several flapping somersaults and bodily pain instances later I came to a full stop, on my back wondering if all my body parts were still with me and functioning. I also took time to determine that, I, in fact, was still with me and functioning. Result? A face plant on the pathway. A facial abrasion and black eye, nose abrasion, Oakley sunglass lens scratched beyond repair and a large graze on my left shin. Then a group of faces and concerned voices began to slowly come into focus above me. The mobile phone was working and with difficulty and as much dignity as I could musrer, called Donnis. By now my pain and shock were settling in. The concerned women suggested, strongly, I allow them to call an Ambulance.

I was 100% sure my left wrist was broken. The ambulance took me to Alamanda Private Hospital as they thought the Gold Coast University Hospital is too busy. Although I was seen immediately I spent most of the day on a hospital gurney. X-rays confirmed the wrist is broken but it seems the damage may be worse. They made an appointment for me to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon tomorrow and made a temporary cast to give the wrist stability. During my stay at the hospital I was given morphine for pain. Hmmm! All that hype about morphine, all it did for me was to take the edge off the pain and stop the shakes when adrenalin kicked in. I was also given a script for Endone, a morphine based pain killer so I can manage pain at home.

Stay tuned for the visit to the orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow,