Archive for September, 2015

459. Sunday 27th September 2015. At home, pain is the highlight and we travel to Mackay…

29/09/2015

 

No Photos This Week. We Are Too Busy Doing Other Stuff.

Monday 21st September

I visited with my own doctor – or as she calls herself, a Personal Care Provider – and experienced a sense of care and understanding for the first time in over 5 years. During our travels we have had need to visit GP’s in towns in three states. For that reason we have not been able to establish a comfortable relationship with doctors as we were only likely to visit once and or the practise was multi doctor and you did not see the same doctor twice. We were fortunate that in our travels we found two single doctor practises who were caring, informed, pro-active and knew what he was doing. The first was in Guyra and the second, unbelievably was in busy Fairfield a suburb of Brisbane. In both I felt a comfortable relationship. Here on the Gold Coast I am using a busy multi doctor practise and have seen several doctors. That was probably my fault by asking for the first available appointment with any doctor instead of asking for my Personal Care Provider. Today I asked for the first available appointment with my PCP. She spent a long time with me discussing my injury, treatment so far and pain management medication. I was impressed and felt comfortable with her suggested course of pain relief along with anti- inflammatory drugs. We will review the plan in two weeks.

I bought elastic shoe laces at the Ascic Shoe store yesterday and used my walking shoes for the first time today. I was able to put on my own shoes today and needed no help with tying laces. This gives me huge independence. I can now put on my shoes and go for a walk whenever I please. I do not need to wait for someone to tie my laces.

Yee Har!!!

Tuesday 22nd September.

Wow! My first real sleep since my injury almost 8 weeks ago. Yes, I woke once during the night, wandered around the house for a few minutes and went back to bed and slept until 6am.

This was another Yee Har day.

Wednesday 23rd September

Another big Wow! And a Yee Har! Using the night time pain management suggested by my PCP I slept all night. I woke at 5.30am.

Another milestone this morning. As well as being able to put on my own shoes I was able to zip up my jacket this morning.

Thursday 24th September

Donnis woke early enough so we could go for a walk along the Broadwater. Oh it was wonderful walking in bright sunlight, looking at the stunningly clear water and breathing the salt air.

This morning I first had x-rays taken of my wrist and hand. I asked the technician to include my pinkie finger which has given me a good deal of discomfort and does not react as it orta. Next we saw the surgeon. It took him 4 minutes to review the x-rays, tell me to discontinue the Panedeine Forte (yeah right, as if I am gunna discontinue that which gives me enough pain relief so I can get some sleep.) declare all looks good and to see him in 6 weeks. He did not even look at my hand! Grrrr! I stayed seated and explained – politely – about my pinkie finger and the pain it gives. Perhaps it was broken also. He reviewed the x-rays again and declared there was no break but there is a large nerve, the Ulna, which runs along the side of the pinkie and it was probably injured in the fall and would take months to heal.

Goodbye!

We then went to a large shopping centre with parking space for over 2,000 cars. Parked 10 cars away from us was RALLYE! All polished and gleaming in the sun,looking heartbreakingly – good. I hope the new owner treats it well. What a coincidence to find RALLYE after 6 months since it was traded on i30.

Tonight I was in considerable pain so took Panedene Forte after dinner so I can get some sleep. I gave the surgeon a virtual “finger” while doing so.

Friday 25th September

Not much to report today.

Slept well overnight. Woke once then quickly back to sleep. What a change from a month ago, even two weeks ago. I was waking at around 2am seeking pain relief and staying awake watching TV or playing on the computer. I still have pain…nerve pain which means apart from the feel of cold and a pins n needles type of constant pain, there are jolts of nerve electricity, powerful enough to make me yelp and sometimes bounce in my seat.

Awake by 6.30, put on my own shoes and went for a walk.

After lunch Donnis drove to Brisbane to visit grandson Chris. Donnis is on a no wheat diet so I took the opportunity to eat spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. That was the highlight of my day.

Saturday 26th September

Today was like a mirror image of yesterday with Donnis arriving home after dinner.

Sunday 27th September

We were both awake early and started packing for our big trip. We are off to Mackay and Airlie Beach.

Donnis drove for 13 hours. We arrived at sister Shan’s house, in Mackay, at 11 pm and were quickly in bed and pushing up ZZZZZ’s all night.

Advertisements

458. Sunday 20th September 2015. A Name for the Pain, SWELL, Nimbin hippies and a Federation Walk…

21/09/2015

Monday 14th September

Tony & Dawn left this morning to return home to Port Macquarie. We will miss their company. But wait…

They have been looking at real estate in the area. Tony called in the afternoon. They have put down a deposit on a piece of land nearby.

Hmmm! Perhaps we will become neighbours.

After a visit to the Surgeon, I left his office knowing the reason for constant pain. I have Chronic Pain Syndrome, neuropathic in origin.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_pain   He has upped my medication to 300Mg of Lyrica twice a day. He cannot offer much more pain relief, such as Panadeine Forte as it can become habit forming, cause constipation or combined with Lyrica, become toxic.

Grrrr!

Tonight I played table tennis for the first time since July. Not good. I felt a little sore after the first game and agony during the second game. Although I am right handed, the constant action of movement antagonises my left injured arm.

Tuesday 15th September

Physiotherapy this morning. It was suggested that I should play table tennis but ease into each session one game at a time.

Wednesday 16th September

Mid morning we drove to a Medicare office to claim on my recent medical expenses. After leaving the office we continued to Currumbin Beach for the SWELL Sculpture Festival.    http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/   Large ominous clouds were building in the south heralding a possible storm and limited time to explore. We last visited the SWELL Sculpture Festival in 2013. A report about our visit can be seen at post 335.   https://frankeeg.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/245-sunday-22nd-september-2013-on-the-move-again-at-least-to-palm-beach-but-then-where-then/

But, first things first. Lunch. As we sat on a bench overlooking the Currumbin Creek breakwall and the dozens of kite surfers,

Currumbin Creek entrance with Kite Surfer zipping about. A ten year veteran kite surfer told me surfers can only use the creek to access the ocean outaide and must not surf within the creek.

Currumbin Creek entrance with Kite Surfer zipping about. A ten year veteran kite surfer told me surfers can only use the creek to access the ocean outaide and must not surf within the creek.

Showing off.

Showing off.

Gold Coast.

Gold Coast.

the storm began a rumble with lightning displays to let us know to hurry up and eat, view the sculptures and get out of here before the full storm arrived…with hail.

Early storm clouds.

Early storm clouds.

Storm approaching.

Storm approaching.

With that warning we quickly viewed the most obviously visible sculptures without taking the time to view information about them.

Currumbin Beach s Surf Club with Coolangatta in the distance.

Currumbin Beachs
Surf Club with Coolangatta in the distance.

We had to run for i30 just as the first fat drops of rain arrived. Despite the hurried viewing we still enjoyed our visit. Just like last time we enjoyed some of the exhibits, scratched our heads at some and we shook our heads that the exhibitor and creator could call the presentation art. The overcast made photographs less bright and sharp as I would prefer.

Even artwork needs to be cleaned and hung out to dry. Wait... this is a piece of artwork.

Even artwork needs to be cleaned and hung out to dry. Wait… this is a piece of artwork.

Another piece of artwork which looks like a construction site demountable.

Another piece of artwork which looks like a construction site demountable.

Wildlife on the lookout for humans who may want to shoot it for sport...not for food.

Wildlife on the lookout for humans who may want to shoot it for sport…not for food.

A rare piece of genuine artwork.

A rare piece of genuine artwork.

Another piece of Artwork which is a piece of art.

Another piece of Artwork which is a piece of art.

looks like Nandia made from steel wool.

looks like Nandia made from steel wool.

Jelly fish hanging from a pandanus tree representing a coral  head.

Jelly fish hanging from a pandanus tree representing a coral head.

A steel dragon.

A steel dragon.

Sunglasses left on the beach.

Sunglasses left on the beach.

Friday 18th September

Today, on a whim, we visited the hippie town of Nimbin.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimbin,_New_South_Wales    It is well known for its Marijuana / Cannabis culture and hippie lifestyle. Nimbin, is in the north of NSW near Murwillumbah not far over the border within the Border Ranges  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Ranges_National_Park   and is reached via a pretty drive which mostly follows the Tweed River valley then turns sharply to rise into the hills of the ranges.  The reason for Nimbin being here in the first places was for timber cutting – Red Cedar in particular – followed by dairying and banana growing. Many of the buildings date from the early part of the 20th century. Given that much of the town is pro marijuana and hippie lifestyle, the buildings are mostly painted in strange colours plastered with slogans  about lifestyle – sustainability, permaculture and cannabis sub-culture. On first arriving – outside the Hemp Embassy   http://hempembassy.net/document/hemp-embassy/about-us/1,1.html#.Vfxb5vmqqko    – we smelled the sickly sweet, cloying aroma of cannabis smoke immediately I opened the car door.

The famous Hemp Embassy.

The famous Hemp Embassy.

I got a high just stepping out of the car. We did a quick visit of the embassy but I could not remain inside as the smell of marijuana smoke and burning incense was more than lungs and sinuses could cope with. Some of the town appears normal with such stores as – all painted psychedelically – banks, solicitors, optometrists, accountants, real estate agents and pizza shops.

Another painted store.

Another painted store.

Yet another painted store.

Yet another painted store.

More painted stores at Nimbin.

More painted stores at Nimbin.

A painted Nimbvin store.

A painted Nimbin store.

Nimbin Hotel. Seems normal enough.

Nimbin Hotel. Seems normal enough.

The streets were populated by regular visitors and local hippies walking around but no interaction was seen. Tourist buses bring curious visitors to view the blatant sub culture in action. Some of the stores undergo regular police raids. The local policeman is kept busy with what the locals call trivial infringements – smoking dope in public. There is a local town code of conduct which is written large in several colours and locals remind each other if somebody steps out of bounds.

Nimbin Street Code. I recommend you enlarge the image to read the code.

Nimbin Street Code. I recommend you enlarge the image to read the code.

I saw one woman sitting on a bench, beside the code of conduct, smoking what was left of a joint. I saw others smoking as they walked by in a group. It was a great experience to see and for a short while be a part of a sub culture.

Nimbin Cenotaph.

Nimbin Cenotaph.

Once more a storm was threatening so we headed home before the hillsides were enveloped by the rain and darkness.

20th September

The sun was playing hide n seek with clouds. The wind was chilly, blowing in off the sea. Our plans were to walk along Main Beach, barefoot, skipping in the sand flats and shallows had.afterwards I would sit on the soft sand and run the fingers of my injured hand through the sand. Sifting. Gripping. Dragging. Those plans had to be reviewed

Not today! It was too windy and chilly. As a second prize we decided to walk the 4 Klm Federation  Walk, behind the beach, in the dunes as far as The Spit.   http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/oceanway_thespit.pdf

At least it gave us something to do and take my mind off the pain.

457. Sunday 13th September 2015. Another week of painful fog but with a birthday weekend to remember…

15/09/2015

Lots and lots of photos this week.

Monday 7th September

Tony, Dawn, Donnis and I went for a walk along the Broadwater with a brilliant sunny day ensuring thousands of other people were doing the same.

In the morning we visited the Gold Coast Hand Therapy and learned a new set of exercises as well as having my original splint/brace turned into an instrument of torture. It was modelled into a device to hold my fingers closed in a painful fist.

In the afternoon we visited the Gold Coast Upper Limb Centre where the surgeon on seeing my splint told me to remove it. He feels the surgically implanted plate is now strong enough to support the wrist. He showed me an X-Ray of the T shaped plate and 6 screws. Yikes! No wonder my hand feels heavy in the mornings. He also prescribed tripling my Lyrica nerve pain medication and told me to stop all other medication. It may take a few days to fully enter my system and give relief

Tuesday 8th September.

Tony and I walked the Broadwater again. Aaaah. It is wonderful to be walking and breathing the fresh salt laden air. Even the dolphins agree it is wonderful as we saw hundreds of bigger dolphins leaping and cruising the Broadwater.

I felt like celebrating this morning as for the first time in weeks I got a good sleep in a bed. I slept for 4 hours, woke for a bathroom break and went back to bed for another 4 hours.

Yahoo!!!

Umm Err, Donnis had a little accident in our new i30.

Grrr! Although the dents in the rear bumper and hatch boot lid appear small, there are several dents and as the bumper is made of plastic and include reversing indicators, I suspect it will need replacing. The hatch lid could probably be dent removed and both will need repainting. It will not be cheap.

Grumble grumble grumble.

Wednesday 9th September

Another good night of sleep. The new medication keeps the pain just on the edge of consciousness but it is still there.

A brief walk around our village as we had an early appointment to see a dental professor who was looking into a suspicious black space in X-Rays taken of my mouth. After an examination he believes there are no symptoms or other indications of a problem.

Whew!

Daughter Shelley, hubby Dwyane and children Jack, Matthew, Georgia and her friend Gracie arrived for a barbecue at the clubhouse. I was good to catch up with the family and to test the facilities at the clubhouse.

Thursday 10th September.

BIL Ken arrived today and quickly made himself known to the village.

Friday 11th September

I have returned to constant pain and poor sleep at night so I am sleeping whenever I can. That means an hour or so twice a day.

Sigh!!!

We collected a set of child safety seats from Jack & Jill Holiday Hire at Southport. Donnis collected Errol, Nicole and the girls from the airport. Errol & Nicole went to visit friends Steve & Angela who live nearby at Lands End.

Sister Enid arrived from Brisbane, she and Ken are staying next door at Treasure Island Holiday Park.

We took the opportunity to have another barbecue at the clubhouse.

Saturday 12th September

Today is the day we had a belated birthday party for me. During the day guests began arriving from as far south as Avondale in NSW and way up at The Daintree north Queensland and many places between.

Errol’s friend Steve arrived in his boat and took the family for a ride around a tiny fractional  part of the huge canal system which makes up most of the Gold Coast.

Errol and Steve approach via Biggera Creek

Errol and Steve approach via Biggera Creek

Errol and Steve aboard the SS Creek Cruiser.

Errol and Steve aboard the SS Creek Cruiser.

Steve and the family head west on Biggera Creek.

Steve and the family head west on Biggera Creek.

Errol Hannah Amelia and Nicole in Steves boat on Biggera Creek below our village.

Errol Hannah Amelia and Nicole in Steves boat on Biggera Creek below our village.

Mum n Dad with 9 fluffy baby ducks calling our village home.

Mum n Dad with 9 fluffy baby ducks calling our village home.

While watching Steve n Errol arrive in Steve's boat I noticed this Striated  Heron searching for food in the mud flats below our village at low tide.

While watching Steve n Errol arrive in Steve’s boat I noticed this Striated Heron searching for food in the mud flats below our village at low tide.

By 6pm the party got under way at the clubhouse for greeting, drinks and nibblies until all guests had arrived.

BIL Ken in 60's hippy attire.

BIL Ken in 60’s hippy attire. Amelia and Hannah are intrigued.

Grandaughter Hannah dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

Grandaughter Hannah dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

Wayne n Narelle on the left. I worked with Wayne at Illawarra Mutual Building Society ( an organisation I was proud to work for)Wayne went on to become CEO for 15 years. On the right is Glennis n Erick. Glennis was a tenant in my unit at Airlie Beach, I had to ask her to leave because I needed somewhere to live. She bought the unit next to me and we have been friends ever since.

Wayne n Narelle on the left. I worked with Wayne at Illawarra Mutual Building Society ( an organisation I was proud to work for)Wayne went on to become CEO for 15 years. On the right is Glennis n Erick. Glennis was a tenant in my unit at Airlie Beach, I had to ask her to leave because I needed somewhere to live. She bought the unit next to me and we have been friends ever since.

My good friend Tony whom I met in 1966 when looking for the bus to take us away to life in the Army for two years. We have been friends ever since. Brother in Law Ken with my sister Enid and me in pirate garb.

My good friend Tony whom I met in 1966 when looking for the bus to take us away to life in the Army for two years. We have been friends ever since. Brother in Law Ken with my sister Enid and me in pirate garb.

Tony and wife Dawn with Ken n Enid and the great clown, Donnis.

Tony and wife Dawn with Ken n Enid and the great clown, Donnis.

BIL Pete with sister Bev. Brother Allan and wife Rae (or should I say "Thing".

BIL Pete with sister Bev. Brother Allan and wife Rae (or should I say “Thing”.

Super hero...Errol who has incredible powers of poor costume design...

Super hero…Errol who has incredible powers of poor costume design…

Sister Enid as a 60's hippy, Dawn n Tony, Sister Sandi and fiancee Dave as 50's rock n rollers.

Sister Enid as a 60’s hippy, Dawn n Tony, Sister Sandi and fiancee Dave as 50’s rock n rollers.

SIL Dwyane with daughter Shelley, grandson Jack, grandaughter Georgia, grandson Matthew and Gracie.

SIL Dwyane with daughter Shelley, grandson Jack, grandaughter Georgia, grandson Matthew and Gracie.

(Dorothy (Hannah) in a quiet moment.

(Dorothy (Hannah) in a quiet moment.

Donnis the clown.

Donnis the clown.

We then trooped, in fancy dress, to the Treasure Island Holiday Park next door for dinner at Buccaneers Restaurant.

I called this unrelated pair The Twins. Gracie on the left is the best friend of my grandaughter Georgia on the right.

I called this unrelated pair The Twins. Gracie on the left is the best friend of my grandaughter Georgia on the right.

At dinner with catwoman, Dorothy and a Princess.

At dinner with catwoman, Dorothy and a Princess.

http://www.treasureisland.com.au/  After dinner we trooped back to our clubhouse and had drinks, ice cream and cakes and rock and roll music until even the kids were tired.

Sister Sandra instructs in the finer art of cake cutting.

Sister Sandra instructs in the finer art of cake cutting.

Cutting the cake, unassisted. Well almost. With only one arm that was the best I could do.

Cutting the cake, unassisted. Well almost. With only one arm that was the best I could do. If the eyepatch was in place I was further disabled.

Tonight was especially wonderful that my brother Allan and all three sisters, Enid, Bev and Shan were here to mark the occasion of my 70th. Thank you to all my guests but a big special thank you to my siblings to be all together.

They went one step further by cleaning the clubhouse before we closed for the night.

Mostly I wish to thank Donnis who spent so much time preparing, baking, decorating and entertaining arrivals and early visitors. The party would not have happened without her.

Sunday 13th September

As if last nights party was not enough most of us met again this morning for a cruise on Wyndham Cruises around the Gold Coast Broadwater and Islands.

This was our boat for the morning. When researching options I realised this was a company I arranged insurance for prior to my 2nd retirement.

This was our boat for the morning. When researching options I realised this was a company I arranged insurance for prior to my 2nd retirement.

Inside our boat was an internal winding staircase to reach the popular viewing platform.

Inside our boat was an internal winding staircase to reach the popular viewing platform.

Our boat and the extreme jet boat ride both fire up their motors to begin the days work.

Our boat and the extreme jet boat ride both fire up their motors to begin the days work.

http://wyndhamcruises.com.au/   The skipper gave a running commentary on how the canal system evolved and pointed out the most expensive and exclusive houses as well as the homes of famous personalities.

The city skyline dominated the background.

Another skyline view from another canal.

Another skyline view from another canal.

One of the Gold Coast canals with the skyline always in view.

One of the Gold Coast canals with the skyline always in view.

We went under the Southport Bridge with just enough clearance to avoid tall people hitting their heads on the undersides.

Southport Bridge.

Southport Bridge.

Our boat glides under the Southport Bridge.

Our boat glides under the Southport Bridge.

Going under the Chevron Island Bridge was a bit more risky, the skipper asked tall people to sit down.

Once in the bay we saw lots of Fly Board   http://goldcoastwatersports.com/

A flyboard beginner.

A flyboard beginner.

Flyboard fun.

Flyboard fun.

activity as well as Jet Power boat thrill rides.  http://www.jetboatextreme.com.au/experiences/ultimate-ride/

eXtreme boat rides. Expect to return to dock wet if you go on this ride.

eXtreme boat rides. Expect to return to dock wet if you go on this ride.

I wrote about this chapel at an earlier post, 400, in 2014.Another Gold Coast vessel with which I was involved in arranging insurance.

I wrote about this chapel at an earlier post, 400, in 2014. Another Gold Coast vessel with which I was involved in arranging insurance.

The skipper pointed out that the hundreds of private boats moored in the bay the owners enjoy living in the heart of the Gold Coast for $50 per week.

Another excellent morning with family and friends.

All the family after the boat trip.

All the family after the boat trip.

In the evening we went to a Yum Cha Restaurant for dinner with sisters Enid with hubby Ken and Shan along with fiancée Dave.

A great meal along with great company to end a great weekend.

Thank you all.

 

456. Sunday 6th September 2015. Returning home, a painful fog and a birthday on the road…

09/09/2015

Monday 31st August.

The last day of winter and spring is just a day away.

I visited the physiotherapist today. She tells me that pain is normal. In fact my condition and experience is a classic text book case. The shooting pains which now seem to be occurring frequently are in addition to the daily constant pain. The shooting pain is the nerves finally firing and trying to locate their position in the wrist. Those shooting pains are like jolts of electric current. Gradually my fingers are able to hold light objects such as a damp face cloth or an empty shampoo bottle. Progress is still slow and painful.

Tuesday 1st September

We drove to La Perouse today to visit Geoff and Margaret as we will be leaving on Friday to head back to the Gold Coast. We had originally planned to do so many things while in Gymea but given the limited use of my hand, doctors visits and physio appointments those plans have to be held over until another time.

Wednesday 2nd September

Today was our final visit with Errol, Nicole, Amelia and Hannah before we drive back home on Friday.

Amelia and Hannah practise pulling faces.

Amelia and Hannah practise pulling faces.

Donnis and Frank with Amelia and Hannah on the rear deck of the house.

Donnis and Frank with Amelia and Hannah on the rear deck of the house.

Thursday 3rd September

Final Sydney physio visit.

Bev n Pete arrived home from their holiday and we catch up until tiredness overcomes us.

Friday 4th September.

The original plan was to leave early – that is before 9am preferably before 8am. My Lyrica nerve pain tablets make me so drowsy I fell asleep after breakfast. It rained most of the way Port Macquarie. We stopped for fuel just out of Wyong and decided to eat there as well. The roast chicken was terrible. Should have gone to MacDonalds.

Donnis  son, Peter, works in Port so we caught up with him, over a beer at his favourite pub.

We bought takeaway Chinese food so we could safely have a glass of wine or two and not have to worry about the breathalyser squad.

Earlier this month on our way to Gymea we exchanged house keys with Tony n Dawn. We have somewhere to stay tonight. They are at our house so they can have a base exploring Over 50’s Resorts in Queensland.

Saturday 5th September.

Happy Birthday FrankieG. Fancy celebrating a birthday driving 500 klms along the highway.

The plan was to leave early but my pain relief tablets meant I fell asleep again.

We stopped at Coffs Harbour for lunch. We have never stopped at the harbour before so we took a little time to do so today.

Driving into Coffs involves  many high hills which give great views to the ocean. The hillsides are mostly covered in banana plantations. As long as I can remember, Coffs has been dependant on banana crops. It seems there is now a rival industry … blueberries.  The harbour is impressive as was the fish n chips lunch at the fish co-op.

The wonderful seafood co-op where only wild caught local seafood is available. The is no imported fish 9 except some wild caught New Zealand...they are honourary Aussies anyway) and certainly none of that disgusting Basa from Vietnam.

The wonderful seafood co-op where only wild caught local seafood is available. There is no imported fish (except some wild caught New Zealand…they are honourary Aussies anyway) and certainly none of that disgusting Basa from Vietnam.

Coffs is on the Princes Highway and so far has escaped a bypass gradually being built north and south of the city. For this reason the town is a bottleneck for all north south traffic. Once the bypass is completed the town may be worthwhile visiting again.

We left just as the gathering storm clouds started to dump rain.

Storm clouds approaching Coffs Harbour.

Storm clouds approaching Coffs Harbour.

Wind surfers doing what they do.

Wind surfers doing what they do.

We arrived home at 6.30 pm and joined Tony n Dawn for a wonderful takeaway Japanese dinner. Tony and I both fell asleep in the recliner chairs after dinner.

Sunday 6th September

To celebrate being home Tony and I went for a walk along the Broadwater. I showed him the place where I had my accident. Hmmm! There is no plaque to indicate my life was changed in an instant.

To further celebrate I took off the brace for a few hours.

455. Sunday 30th August 2015. Another painful week but a visit to the beach is the best relief…

01/09/2015

The first two days this week were spent moping around trying to avoid pain while creating pain with the physio exercises.

There was also torrential rain, so we decided it was safer to stay off the roads. Some flooding occurred in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven districts as well as west of Sydney where the Warragamba Dam has an overflowing spillway, the first time in three years.

I also downloaded the free Windows 10 update. I have been happy with Windows 7 but understand Windows 10 opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  It is just a matter of learning and adapting to the new system. I expect bit by bit I will need to adjust settings to avoid the Windows defaults to those I know and trust.

Wednesday 26th August

Today we drove to Wollongong to visit Nicole, Amelia and Hannah.

Donnis and Nicole show off the head art created by Amelia and Hannah

Donnis and Nicole show off the head art created by Amelia and Hannah

Hannah and Amelia love to help daddy make mud bricks.

Hannah and Amelia love to help daddy make mud bricks.

Errol is at work. To drive to Wollongong involves several choices each of which requires driving down a steep road from the top of the Great Dividing Range to the coast. Today we used the Bulli Pass Road.

View of Wollongong coastal fringe from the original Bulli Lookout.

View of Wollongong coastal fringe from the original Bulli Lookout.

Once upon a time this was about the only option. I lived in Wollongong for many years and when returning home from a trip away, especially at night, the lights of Wollongong lit the coastal  strip below the pass. At times like this I would comment, “almost home”. It was a good feeling. The pass is narrow, steep and winding. I have never and would never use the pass while towing a caravan or in our case while WWWGO was towing TERIOS. You need to be using brakes constantly. The pass is often closed due to rockfalls, cars going off the side of the road into the steep bushland or amazing as it seems,driving off the side of the road which has a deep gutter against the escarpment wall. Somehow cars manage to drive over the gutter wall and get stuck in the gutter itself. Have a look at the YouTube video of a typical drive down the pass.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUtcP8SLNes

Thursday 27th August

My visit to the physiotherapist has resulted in a change to a soft bodied splint and a compression glove instead of a compression sock. The swelling is not going down and it is adding to the pain. I have many exercises to be performed at least 5 times a day after which the discomfort has me wanting to climb walls.

Saturday 29th August

Today is the third last day of winter. According to the weather bureau it has been the coldest winter in five years. Today was a beautiful sunny day, just right for the beach, thousands of other people agreed with me. We drove to Bronte Beach.

Bronte Beach looking south towards the Bogey Hole and the 30 metre saltwater pool.

Bronte Beach looking south towards the Bogey Hole and the 30 metre saltwater pool.

Bronte Beach is tucked into a steep fold of land between high sandstone cliffs. It is about 2 Klms south of Bondi and 2 Klms north of Coogee Beach an equally small beach tucked between cliffs. My personal pick is Bronte which boasts surf 95% of the year while Coogee is almost surfless most of the year. At the southern end of the beach is the Bogey Hole, a natural rock pool, popular with families with small children. Next to the bogey hole is a free 30 metre salt water ocean pool.

Bogey Hole and Coastal pool.

Bogey Hole and Coastal pool.

The narrow main street has shops on one side. All the shops are cafes and all do a roaring trade.

Every shop at Bronte Beach is an eatery,

Every shop at Bronte Beach is an eatery,

At the back of the beach there are perhaps a dozen picnic shelters and a similar number of barbecues. All were busy with people enjoying the lifestyle.

Sumo Wrestlers at Bronte.

Sumo Wrestlers at Bronte.

Wow!

It was worth the fight through an hour and a half of traffic to be here.

A two metre swell was running and beach goers were swimming, surfing, walking, eating and just plain relaxing on the sand.

Boogey Board rider takes on a two metre surf break at Bronte.

Boogey Board rider takes on a two metre surf break at Bronte.

Some were playing volleyball.

This beach volley ball game was feet, arms shoulders, heads but no hands. This team member was a distraction to the opposing team.

This beach volley ball game was feet, arms shoulders, heads but no hands. This team member was a distraction to the opposing team.

What a gorgeous day to be out in  the environment breathing in the salt laden air. Ahhh, just to be there and walking the clifftops was invigorating and was enough encouragement to walk along the cliff walk north,

Clifftops from Bronte Beach looking north towards Tamarama Beach.

Clifftops from Bronte Beach looking north towards Tamarama Beach.

to Tamarama Beach.

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach

A beach café, right on the beach served better food at more reasonable prices than Bronte. Tamarama is about 1 Klm via a walkway along the clifftops to Bondi Beach. In the late 1800’s the entire north headland and beach was privately owned ( public access to the beach and public beach bathing were not permitted in those days )  and an amusement park was built including a roller coaster ride, an aquarium and elephant rides on the beach.  Swimming at this beach is dependent on tide and surf conditions, so is more often closed to surfing than open. Nonetheless it is a delightful beach. The clifftop walk begins at Bondi Beach

From Tamarama looking north towards Bondi

From Tamarama looking north towards Bondi

and goes all the way to Maroubra Beach.To walk the entire length is about 4 hours and takes in some of the most stunning coastal views in Sydney.

Clovelly Cemetry which is on the Bondi to Maroubra clifftop walk. Part of the walk below the cemetry is suspended over the ocean.

Clovelly Cemetry which is on the Bondi to Maroubra clifftop walk. Part of the walk below the cemetry is suspended over the ocean.

We could have spent the entire day just enjoying the views and the lure of the sea. As the 4pm shadows began to cross the beach it was time to find i30 for the drive back to Gymea.

Sunday 30th August

Last night was my best night’s sleep since this saga began. I slept for three hours straight followed by an hour on the computer playing solitaire. This was followed by four straight hours of sleep. Perhaps a milestone has been reached and improvement begins.

I live in hope.

Now, here is a twist to our near regular travel to Wollongong. Nicole and the girls came to visit us while Errol is working away. Fortunately the nearby primary school was having a fete which Donnis, Nicole and the girls spent two hours wandering around while I had what now seems to be a daily after lunch snooze. Blame it on the pain relief both of which warn “may cause drowsiness, do not use or operate machinery”. That’s easy for me.  In my present condition I cannot drive a car anyway.

Nicole prepared a mild Thai chicken curry for dinner, mild enough for the girls to eat.

The coming week threatens to be a busy time including our return to the Gold Coast on Friday.

At the end of another week I wish I could report being pain free or at least pain diminished but alas I cannot.

Stay tuned.