Saturday 31 August 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 35 Dr's, dentists and new roads.

Doctors and dentist this week and Peter away for a couple of days in Saudi.

The weather is improving here, some nights the temp has dropped below 30c. I've been sitting outside early mornings drinking my tea and Bob's walks are getting longer.

Since starting a wheat free diet, I've been hungry, had indigestion and trapped wind, symptoms that are classic of my condition, but not symptoms I had until I cut wheat out my diet.

237 Sunday Popped out for coffee then set about rearranging the store rooms and Maid's room to create a nicer space for Pushkins, as she keeps making a break for freedom outside. She's nearly 11 and has been an indoor cat for the past two years. There are too may vicious stray cats outside fighting for the food left out for the neighbours. Pushkins is also overweight so it's a way of controlling her diet also. I've joined a facebook group #postcardsforkindness and picked 10 nursing homes in the UK to write to.

238 Monday Out to the Mall to buy Peter a new laptop/travel bag needed for his trip tomorrow. Spent the afternoon writing #postcardsforkindness a group I found on facebook with an aim of writing cards to the elderly in care homes who are often lonely.

239 Tuesday Took Peter to the airport for his work trip to Saudi then off to the dog park from 9am -1pm, meeting up with friends for a coffee and natter. The afternoon was spent sorting through years of paperwork, policies, investments and old bank statements.

Actual air temp was 42c. It took 20 mins for Bob and I to get home with the air con on full blast and the car temp only dropped to 48c.

240 Wednesday Follow up appointment with the Dr after last weeks endoscope, stopped for a coffee on the way home and posted my cards and letters. Had a horrendous migraine and took to my bed for the rest of the day.

241 Thursday Migraine not too bad at the start of the day, then a visit to the dentist for both of us, me for a deep clean and a wisdom tooth extraction and Peter for a check up and to get a tooth fixed. My migraine kicked back in full force and I took my emergency meds, killed the pain and managed some sleep. The cat and dog didn't leave my side.

242 Friday Side effects of meds were horrendous, sick, dizzy, cognitive ability impaired, we had to do a food shop and I had a coffee while Peter took the car to be cleaned, rest of the day spent on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.

For the past 18 months, we've taken a short cut through the sand to get to our house, 2 months ago they blocked it off and we had to find a new route. Today we drove our normal route on a tarmac road.

243 Saturday Feeling slightly better by midday so we popped out for coffee, car broke down in 42c and we needed a new battery, off to Marina Mall for a walk around. It's Thing 2's birthday and we recorded a .message on fb for him, his mum sent a lovely little recording back.

The last part of my trip to Australia - A week in Melbourne

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Wednesday 28 August 2019

A week in Melbourne

My last week in Australia was spent in Melbourne, there's so much to do here, but we just touched on the main tourist attractions, as well as getting some rest after spending 2 weeks on the road.

We stayed in an apartment overlooking the docklands which was in the free tram zone area making it easy to get around. It also wasn't far to walk, but it was winter and exceptionally cold during my visit, windy and a lot of rain.

Street entertainment

China Town

Tram stop

One of many shopping arcades

Lots of restaurants to chose from but make sure you book


Day 2
Just over an hours drive south of Melbourne and a visit to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park to pet Victor the 3 year old Koala and feed the wallabies and kangaroos.

Day 3 St Kilda Beach
View of Melbourne

We found a penguin hidden under the rocks.

Day 4 I've watched Neighbours since it started in 1985 so I drove out to Pin Oak Court for a visit. The street is much shorter and narrower than it looks on the TV. They only film on location once a week, the rest is done in studios. It was a 20 min drive from the City.

In the afternoon we explored melbourne's street art

Finishing with a visit to the Winter Night Market.

Day 5 A day on my own as Jamie (child 3) had been out and about in the evenings with friends of his. I took the tram to the far end of the city and took a 20 min walk out to the Botanical Gardens, then back along the river to the sea life centre. We finished the trip with a meal out in the evening.

Saturday 24 August 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 34. A week in Dubai

I've not mentioned my health recently, but that doesn't mean to say it's improved. The driving and flights around Australia have taken their toll on me this week. I did suffer with headaches and increased chronic pain but when you're having an adventure that over rides everything else. Back in Dubai so back to the Doctors and an endoscope this week.

Most days are just ticking over, so just assume every morning involves sweeping sand from somewhere, walking the dog, washing and/or ironing, swimming and some house work. Followed by a coffee out and some blogging, letter writing and cooking. This is usually all achieved by midday as I start my day around 5am for the outdoor stuff to get done before it gets too hot. This might sound like a lot, but Peter doesn't come home until 6pm, there's a lot of just doing nothing and being alone in the house.

230 Sunday After completing my daily chore list and having coffee, I spent the afternoon tidying up the house, sorting clothes for charity and finding new homes for a lot of unwanted stuff we've accumulated. Caught up with Neighbours, Corrie and Eastenders for the week and filed some paperwork, waiting for Peter to get home.

It feels much cooler out in the mornings before 8am, so dog walks are getting longer.

231 Monday Nil by mouth after midnight and the Doctors for 8.30am for an Endoscope. Have posted an update in the facebook group for Project 365, too long winded for here. Spent the rest of the day on the sofa on facebook and watching The Good Wife, an early night.

Early evening supervising Bob outside

232 Tuesday Off to the dog park for the morning, the usual crowd was there and a few new faces, went out in the evening to get signatures witnessed for some paperwork needed in the UK.

Getting nearer to their dinner time so not moving far from my sight.

233 Wednesday I did the food shop, getting home around midday. I needed a pee, to get changed, have a drink and put the fridge stuff away quickly. I was so hot. In the evening we went to the Premier Inn and Mr Toads for the weekly Pub Quiz, came 3rd. Booked car hire, flights and hotels for Peter and I for the wedding of child 4 and the birth of our first grandchild next month.

Always pestering me for food.

234 Thursday Decided to visit the Marina Mall this morning, fed up of going to the same coffee shop. A whole roundabout disappeared over night, a big one, diversion and new road layout in place but not signposted yet. Did a bit of retail therapy and came home for a lie down.

235 Friday Headed out to Dubai Mall for breakfast at IHOP, a bit of a challenge as I can't eat wheat anymore but staff were brilliant and we found something. Wandered around for a couple of hours, but didn't buy anything. Baked a gluten free cake in the afternoon.

Most of Dubai had rain late afternoon, all we had was a thunder storm.

236 Saturday Up early and batched cooked some soup, then sat in front of the tv. Popped out to Abu Dhabi on a beer run. Supervised Bob in the garden in the heat.

On the blog this week:

I was asked to contribute to an article about grief on finding Peace and Reflection

More on my trip to Australia with child 3 Port Fairy to Melbourne, via the Grampians.

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Wednesday 21 August 2019

I'm not frightened of dying, it's survival that scares me

Last night over Prague we hit a patch of turbulence, it was that rough that the cabin crew didn't even have time to put the trollies away before the Captain told them to take their seats.

There were quite a few audible gasps from my fellow passengers, but I just sat there, looking out the window at the wing, tipping and bumping in the sky.

I used to be frightened of flying, I used to be frightened of heights, but that is an irrational fear and my true fear I faced all those years was my fear of actual death, but over the past year and a half I've come to realise that I'm not frightened of death either, I'm actually frightened of survival.

Summer 2017 my father died suddenly at home, I was with him within minutes of his collapse and I could tell he was dying. An ambulance had already been called, but I rang them back and went through the protocols with the operator, I was remarkably calm and in control of myself. I wasn't asked to start CPR or do mouth to mouth. I just followed instructions and sat there with my father watching him die until the emergency response teams arrived and took over.

Over the past few months, I've re lived that scene many times in my head, I've separated the sudden death of my father from the scene and I live with the feeling of helplessness watching a person die, not in pain, not aware, not communicating their wants and needs, no blinking of the eye, no rising of the chest, just life escaping them, slowly and there being absolutely nothing I could do to change the outcome.

I'm grateful my father died the way he did, quickly, painlessly and with his family around him, but as much as I didn't want him to die, I also didn't want him surviving and not having a quality of life, whilst waiting slowly for nature to take its course with every goodbye I made getting harder and harder for both of us.

My father died that night, I survived, but the events live with me, they haunt me. I have no regrets, July 11th 2017 was my father's time, he'd lived a full life. I know there was nothing I could've done, nothing different I could've tried that would have changed the outcome, but I live with a feeling of feeling totally helpless. His life was out of my control, like the turbulence last night was out of my control also. I've flown numerous times, I can accept the turbulence is out of my control. I wouldn't survive an air crash from 37,000ft so there was nothing to fear.

I've only watched one person die, I need a bit more time to accept that.

Getting on a plane and visiting the countries my father did gives me a lot of peace, you can read my guest post here. Finding peace in travel.

Port Fairy to Melbourne via the Grampians

We left the Great Ocean Road after visiting Griffiths Island in Port Fairy, seeing wallaby, oyster catchers and the light house and drove north into the Grampians.

We had a mad idea to climb a mountain so pulled over at signs for Mount Sturgeon. I have iron deficiency anaemia so was slow and breathless, we reached the top in 90 mins to realise it was a false summit and we had to actually climb down 20ms to ascend on the other side to reach the peak. We decided to call it a day and started to descend before I said to my son 'sod it, we've come this far, let's go to the top' and we did.

At the false peak

The actual peak is over there.

At the top

Looking down at the false peak

It took us an hour to descend, passing people half my age that looked like they were struggling as much as I had on the way up. 

Our next stop was for a light lunch then we drove to Halls Gap, choosing the pub in the main street for dinner, bought some supplies from the local store and headed to Lake Fyans where we stayed for the night.

Up till this point I'd only seen 1 live kanagroo, the rest were roadkill and an awful lot of them. In Halls Gap the countryside was full of kangaroo and at one point they crossed the road in large groups. All the photos I took were blurred, they really do travel/hop fast.

The following morning we drove back into Halls Gap and visited Mackenzie waterfall. 260 steps down and back up again, I didn't think my legs would manage, but they did. Stopping next at Wonderland carpark and a quick visit to the Grand Canyon, then a 3 hour drive into Melbourne where we were staying for a week.

Saturday 17 August 2019

One Daily Positive - Week 33 Melbourne to Dubai via Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Eid Al Adha Mubarak.

It's hot back in Dubai, the garden needs a lot of work doing to it and the balconies etc are covered in 2 inches of sand grrrrrrrrrrr.

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi as it's EID and a public holiday staying at the Park Hyatt on Saadiyat Island. We'd booked a suite with a sea view and balcony, we went for breakfast, they made the room, we returned from a swim and they'd tidied away the coffee cups, we came back from dinner and they'd refreshed the towels and emptied the bins. I'm not used to this level of attentiveness and was surprised that it wasn't as intrusive as previous experiences.

223 Sunday Had a leisurely morning, packed case, left apartment and returned the key before dropping the car at the airport and checking in for a 6pm flight to Singapore, before a 2 hour stop over and onto Dubai. I managed to get more sleep than usual. Getting off at Singapore we waited by the gate while they cleaned the plane and got back onto the same seat, I found a smoking room and a Starbucks.
Meet Thing 4, she was actually born last week, but keeping it quiet until everyone had been informed and Thing 1, 2 & 3 had time to meet their sister.

224 Monday Landed at 5am, taxi home, unpacked, showered and did some washing after a 2 hour power nap. Peter took Bob to boarding and I repacked swimsuits, sandals and dresses for a 2 night stay in Abu Dhabi. We arrived at the Park Hyatt at 1pm and headed straight to the beach and pool. We ate Vietnamese for dinner.

225 Tuesday A lie in and leisurely breakfast before spending the rest of the morning by the pool, back to our room for a couple of hours, then pool side again before showering and dinner in the Beach Cafe.

226 Wednesday I was up early and started my day with a swim in the sea, but at 36c in the water I gave up and went in the pool instead. We had breakfast and went back to the pool for the morning, before packing and checking out. Collected Bob from the kennels, we'd left Pushkins at home with food hidden around the house. We did a food shop then I caught up with my soaps and we watched a couple of episodes of the Good Wife before bed.

227 Thursday Up at 5am, seem to be back in my usual routine now. Walked Bob, watered the garden, swept the front and rearranged my car as Peter has been using it for the dog and boarding. Did the ironing, sorted through our wardrobes and rearranged/tidied up the toiletries. Showered and off to Ibn Battuta Mall for a coffee and to blog. I bought a couple of books to read. The place where I've been swopping books at the dog park hasn't had any new donations in since I started using it, other than what I drop off. Spent the afternoon at our local pool.

228 Friday Dog walk and garden swept, still needs a good hose and weeding, but slowly does it in this heat. We went out for breakfast at the Mall of the Emirates and onto the cinema to see Once upon a time in Hollywood. It's described as a comedy, but it's dark and violently graphic at the end. If you don't know the Sharon Tate murder or aren't aware of Roman Polanski's statutory rape case, then you'd miss a lot of references, but would still be able to watch the movie.
Made a chicken curry for dinner and bought new pepper and salt mills.

229 Saturday Dog walk, an hours gardening and an hour at the pool. Took ourselves out to Mirdiff City Centre for a walk and lunch and to buy Peter new socks. I spent the afternoon on paperwork and blog comments.
The domed nets are to stop the cat sitting on the table.

On the blog this week:
Phillip Island to Port Fairy. Australian Roadtrip.

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