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Holties House

I love a sunburnt country. A land of sweeping plains. Of ragged mountain ranges. Of droughts and flooding rains.

Updated: 2017-10-19T22:59:21.485+10:00


10th Anniversary!!


Wow!!! whoever would have thought that Holtieshouse would have a 10th Anniversary??


When I first started this blog it was more as a tech challenge, a can you do it sort of thing, who knew that it would develop into the cherished part of my life that has given me friendships all over the world, these friendships are in the main with people I have never met and probably never will meet, but with whom I have shared my life and in turn have been invited into their lives.
Sad to say, over the last couple of years my blogging has become a bit intermittent I have maintained contact with a lot of my friends through FaceBook which has become the modern sort of short hand version of blogging.
To all who might chance to read this I would like to say... THANK YOU for making my life so much better, we have shared so much, Good and Bad times, and have formed a bond with one another as strong as with those we have contact with.

Here's to the next 10 Years!!!!

Bowel Cancer


A journey with bowel cancer I have been thinking over the last few months that perhaps I should write a short history of my recent journey with bowel cancer, not in any way attention seeking rather some of the things that I found a bit difficult and especially the things I found easy, who knows it just might make somebody else's journey that little bit easier.The starting point with me was a visit to the outpatients  department of my local hospital for some help with what I thought was a severe case of constipation, after some prodding and poking it was decided that I should be transferred to a nearby Hospital with a surgery ward.That's when the first alarm bells rang and then a few hours later when I was told that I needed an emergency operation to have a stoma for a colostomy bag on my abdomen as there was a severe blockage in my lower bowel which was possibly a cancer, the four alarm fire bells started ringing about then.Probably because this was an emergency operation there were aspects of it that could have gone better, like the  super quick prep treatment to empty my stomach and bowels, this certainly bypassed the blockage in a big way, the other  aspect I could certainly have done without were 3 nights of horrendous nightmares following what I can only assume were some pretty serious anesthetics being used.All this aside, I woke up in the ICU with a colostomy bag in place and no more stomach pains, in fact no pain of any kind which came as a pleasant surprise  when I saw the two rather nasty incision's in my abdomen for the first time.Perhaps for the benefit of anybody like me who had no idea what this involved, a very  non-medical description, an incision about 5cm (2 inches) long is made across one side of the abdomen, this is accompanied by a similar vertical incision through which the surgeon can work on the small intestine which is cut so that the stomach side of the cut can feed into the colostomy bag, I did say a non-medical description didn't I, but like me, you may have had no idea of what it all meant. This was followed by about 2 months of healing before Chemo-therapy and radiation can begin, the healing process is stopped by these treatments, again something I didn't know, next I had a PIC line inserted running from my right upper arm through a vein to within about 2 cm of my heart, the slow release Chemo that I  was being treated with fed into this PIC line from a bottle hung around my neck.In conjunction with the chemo I had 28 treatments of radiation, these were spread over about 38 days as they didn't work on weekends, I was warned that there were some pretty unpleasant side effects of radiation, nausea, vomiting etc and surprised the staff by reporting no side effects at all, I think they were inclined to dis-believe me when I said I felt fine and more than once asked.. how are you really?? in retaliation, I asked whether I was on the placebo course, for the last 7 treatments they up the dosage considerably so I was again warned that I would be feeling pretty awful at times... again I sailed through almost unscathed, on the morning of my last treatment I reported a small blister on my bum where the rays had been ever so slightly mis-directed, without wanting to be harsh, the staff seemed pleased that at last I had had some reaction!!Again an explanation of what radiation treatment consists of... they lay you on a "bed" which then raises about 6 feet from the ground enabling a huge arm containing the radiation gun to be focused on the cancer site from above, below, from the left and the right side, "lay very still and don't get off the bed... you're 6 feet of the floor, while we go and hide behind our lead screen" this last part is a bit  dis-concerting but hey, you get used to all this stuff, treatment time is about 15 minutes each session.I was VERY fortunate in that during this whole time I had no side effects beyond feeling a bit tired, A walk in the park when compared to what some people have during these treatments.After about 2 [...]



I think this is a rant????

Hands up if you have ever had the horrific experience of changing a long standing email address, you know the one that all your Family and friends have, your bank has not to mention, Blogger, facebook, google, firefox (or your chosen ISP), amazon, ebay, pinterest, and probably another dozen that you haven't thought about for years, but WILL definitely try to contact you soon (Murphy's Law).
OK you can all put your hands down now.... I had, to put it mildly, a dispute with my previous ISP over something that should have taken 2 minutes (I simply wanted to give them a new credit card details for the direct debit with them) but dragged on over 4 phone calls each of about 15 minutes duration and ended up with  me SHOUTING over the phone that our association was hereby terminated (or words to that effect) this left me without the option of being all palsy with them to notify all these other people.
Alright, I know that I brought this all down on myself with my temper tantrum but it felt SO good at the time... ALMOST worth the next week of trying to change my email address with scores of people who insisted on notifying me through an old email address, that I no longer had access to, that they had my new email address and would start to use it once I verified it through my OLD email address.
I hasten to say that I had no trouble with my family and friends or even vague personal acquaintances, it was only with the business people... you know the smart ones!!!
Now I readily admit that I'm no longer the sharpest pencil in the pencil case (and that perhaps I never was) but I hold firmly to the belief that I am NOT an idiot... so if I go to the trouble of phoning all  these people with either my new credit card details and/or my new email address why is it that so few (yes there were a few) can simply say thank you and record the new details while so many complicate their, and my, lives with stupid rules and formulas that they insist on following.
I have had the same multiple phone call routine that lit the initial fuse with several others but have thus far been able to contain my anger without terminating any more associations, I believe I can see the faint glimmer of light at the end of the LONG tunnel so there is just a chance that my life can settle back into the normal blood pressure range sometime soon.... Amen        

RIP Hoss.


For long time bloggers... I think I'm right in saying that its 6 years ago on March 10 since we lost an all time favorite b***ger... Ol'HorsetailSnake like many who read this I was always in awe of Gene's sense of humor and his down to earth grasp on things, (like dung beetles).
I sure hope he has made his pile up yonder, if ever anyone deserved to it was Hoss

RIP old friend.

A trip down memory lane.


I recently spent 3 days with my Son Marcus on a trip planned mainly to catch up with some of my friends and family that I missed when I was unable to attend my sister Merle's funeral last year, as luck would have it we found ourselves standing at Merle's grave on the anniversary of her passing, this added significantly to the visit.We started out with my cousin Dan and his wife Kath, Dan and I were great mates when we were children, you know how you have that special cousin!!!! but had lost touch over the years, we spent about 4 hours together with barely a break in the chatter, a great visit.On to the cemetery next, I seem to remember having difficulty keeping photos in order with Blogger, hope they come out right, next was a quick visit with Merle's oldest son John and his lady Heather, always a joy to catch up with them.To round of day one we visited a lifelong friend Keith where we spent an  enjoyable night, chatting into the wee small hours, Keith had a golf game organized for the next morning we were able to indulge Marcus' passion for browsing second hand and antique stores for a couple of hours.Another town and another lifetime friend, my best mate Alan's widow Jan and their lovely daughter Carol, more good times and memories,  we left there with just enough time for a quick visit with their son Gary and his wife Christine before Marcus had to head for Geelong and work, as his car was in Melbourne that left me with some time to do some more nostalgic sight-seeing.This included drive by visits to old movie theatres, I used to frequent, a couple of old Pubs where we used to hang out, a couple of the old houses we lived in when I was a kid, in short a full dose of memories to top off a great weekend, thank you Marcus for excellent company and all those we visited for their hospitality and company. Kath, myself and Dan sharing memories at Benalla. Merle and Harold's grave site at Shepparton. Myself and my "Little Mate" Keith at Tocumwal. Jan and myself at Yarrawonga. The charming Carol at Yarrawonga. Myself and Marcus while we were at Yarrawonga.The house we lived in when I was 10 to  14 years old. This was where we lived when  Merle married and left home, that's when I discovered that I missed her!!!!The intersection where we gate crashed the Royal visit in 1954, see post on Facebook Jan 13 for details. [...]

Australia Day 2015


January 26th already, its the Australia Day long weekend here in Oz, time to fire up the barbie, grab a cold beer, play some back yard cricket and celebrate living in the best country in the world

 Green & Gold... Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.

Sausages and Aussie Burgers!!!

The shirt says it all!!!

I'll have my steak Australian thanks!!!

The things we do!!!

As usual... Finished of with a joke!!!

Welcome to Holtieshouse!!!


Woo-Hooo... we're back on the air, so to speak, now what to talk about?Perhaps an up-date on the last 12 months, moving from Queensland (after 20 years) back to my State of birth, Victoria, note to self, don't do that again so close to Winter, in Queensland the Winter climate is almost perfect... in Victoria its just COLD.OK, climate aside the move has worked out well, I have 2 of my 4 kids close at hand and I have a social life pattern that keeps me in touch with life time friends, I have got my new home to the stage where it feels right, my health is back to where its been for most of my life.During October/November 20014 I drove to Perth WA and back, to visit with family, my other 2 kids live in Perth, the secondary reason for driving (almost 10,000 kms) was to prove to myself that I could still do it, both objects were achieved, I had a good visit with the kids and also some lifetime friends in both SA and WA.The down-side of the year was the loss of my dear Sister Merle, it hardly seems possible that its been almost a year since she passed away, gone but never forgotten.In honor of her memory I'm going to close this post with a joke as was her habit. Bert feared his wife Peg wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem. The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss. 'Here's what you do,' said the Doctor, 'stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.' That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was In the den.  He says to himself, 'I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens.'  Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?' No response. So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, 'Peg, what's for dinner?' Still no response. Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his Wife and asks, 'Honey, what's for dinner?' Again he gets no response. So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. 'Honey, what's for dinner?' Again there is no response. So he walks right up behind her. 'Peg, what's for dinner?' 'For F*-#?? sake, Bert, for the FIFTH time, CHICKEN!'Until next time...   [...]

Are we there yet?


Following on with the problem of the hi-jacking of this blogsite I have done some tidy up chores here and I believe I have fixed the problem, as a method of checking this I would appreciate it if some readers would follow the link back here and let me know if there is still a problem. My intention is to do a weekly??? post here as I still love the principle of blogging.

Its 2015, must be time for a post.


I don't know whether anyone is going to be able to read this, time will tell, after all this time... almost 10 years and 1125 posts, it seems someone has hi-jacked holtieshouse, I have had my computer serviced and the repair shop managed to clean the hi-jack from this computer but said it would probably still affect others???
If this is so I will report it to Blogger in the hope that they can do something.

A new home for holtieshouse.


Seems like ages since I have written anything on F/B (or the blog) and it certainly isn’t because nothing has been happening in my world… the very opposite in fact I have been on a whirlwind ride which was going much to fast for me to jump off.
In something like chronological order, since Christmas 2012 which I spent in Victoria with most of my family, the decision to move back to Victoria became a reality so some lifestyle investigations began, after much to-ing and fro-ing I decided to buy another house and live independently while I was still able to.
There was a pretty good range of homes available in my price range so I made an offer on one of them then headed for home to sell my Queensland house, Vicki rang me a couple of days later to tell me that the offer had been accepted so the game was on in earnest, I listed my house with a local agent and we agreed on a selling price, after one open house which was very well attended the agent rang me to say the house was sold… so in a two week period I bought and sold houses in two different states.
My dear sister passed away at the same time I was booked into hospital to have the reversal of my colostomy done, the surgery all went well and I have since received a clean bill of health report. 
Marcus and Alan came up for a week to organize a garage sale and pack up my stuff, as an added bonus the people who bought my house bought my furniture too so the move became much easier. Thanks to the boys efforts the garage sale was a success, we gave the surplus to charity and I set sail for my new home and life.
I am at this moment, 1.00pm Wed March 19th, sitting on my new front porch typing this post while I wait for my mew Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Bedroom Suite and Lounge Suite to be delivered, The carpets were all cleaned yesterday and my stuff from Gympie arrives tomorrow so I’ll probably move into my new home on the week end…. WooHoo.
Its now 10 pm and all the expected things have happened, so I’m off to bed… a big day unpacking tomorrow!!!!

Merle's Last Goodbye.


Merle's pride and joy, her four children, Julie, Geoff, John, Kathie.

Myself (Peter) and my sister Merle.

Merle in happier times, when she always wore that lovely smile.
Hello to all of Merle's friends, I'm afraid that I am the bearer of some very bad news, my dear sister Merle passed away today, (Saturday February 8th) quite suddenly but fortunately peacefully.
During my last conversation with her Merle told me that she had had enough and was just waiting to die, while this surprised me at the time I now see that having made peace with those of us she cared most about she simply shut down her resistance and allowed the inevitable to happen.
We are hoping for one last miracle, that is that her funeral can be arranged for Tuesday 11th February so that I can attend before my surgery booked for Thursday 13th February, to those who may not know about this, its the reversal of my colonoscopy after my encounter with bowel cancer last year.
To any of you who followed her blog and/or facebook please know that you enriched her life with the joy she got from her "internet friends" we had many discussions about how deeply we both felt about  those "friends" we had never met and in most cases never expected to meet.
The world is a much better place because Merle spent time in it, not enough time , but then I guess that always applies.
Thank you for the pleasure you gave to Merle.
Rest In Peace.


Heading Home for a rest!!


Hello to Blogland, I hope that 2014 has been treating you well, my normally quiet lifestyle has been given a real workout since I arrived in Victoria just before Christmas.A part of the reason for this trip, aside from spending Christmas with some of my family, was to investigate the housing alternatives available so that I won’t put my family through the same chaotic conditions that 2013 brought about should my health again pose a problem.Christmas Dinner was at favourite daughter Vicki’s lovely new home near Geelong, it was historic in that Vicki and Marcus had both their parents with them for Christmas dinner, first time for about 7 years and only the second time in about 40 years, we also had lengthy phone calls with the boys from Perth, Alan and Bruce to complete what has been a great Christmas.Two days after Christmas I got a morning call from Alan, oldest son, who asked if I could pick him up from the Geelong Railway Station, I assured him that I certainly could and inquired when?... well I’m here at the moment was the reply, we hastily went and picked him up only to learn that his plan had been to hire a car at the Melbourne airport and come and knock on the door at about 8.00am, there wasn’t a single hire car available at the airport or at Geelong when he arrived there, all this after a 20 minute phone call on Christmas morning when he gave no clue about his plan, which included a 3000 km red-eye flight across the country, had already been booked.Some fairly extensive house hunting started in the new year, this included several alternatives at a retirement village near Vicki’s house, a more conventional Caravan Park in Geelong, I hastily add for American readers, this bears no resemblance to a “Trailer Park” as I understand them to be, as well as some conventional houses, one of which I submitted an offer on… not accepted but I have established that there is a fairly good supply of homes in a price range where I feel comfortable.So I’m a man on a mission… to prepare for sale and sell my house in Gympie, get my surgery done and then MOVE interstate… not really looking forward to all that!!!!My worst fears about moving back to Victoria were well founded during the first 2 weeks I had my mid winter uniform on, Jeans, Shirt and light weight jumper, and this was in mid summer!!!! This last week has been a real heat wave with temps. Of 38 to 45 degrees Celsius, approx. 98 /108 Fahrenheit.  It was hot enough today to melt some fairly extensive sections of new bitumen on the motorway as I drove to Shepparton to visit again with my sister Merle, she is in the Shepparton Private Hospital waiting on a placement in respite at a nursing home, she has finally conceded that she is unable to look after herself at home so the move into respite will become permanent when a suitable room becomes available.Merle has succumbed to Dementia over the last few months, its sad to see her repeating the same things over and over and with a fairly serious case of the “Oh Dears” which she prefaces almost everything with, “Oh Dear… I didn’t sleep well last night etc.”  On a brighter note I stopped of at the pretty little town of Nagambie close to Shepparton, This is where the Champion Mare “Black Caviar” was bred, they are understandably proud of her and have erected a statue with details of her racing career on display, 25 straight victories before being retired to stud where she is now expecting her first foal.Again, I wish you all the very best for 2014.Peter.     In her familiar "Racing Mode" she had a huge stride, much longer than normal which wasthe secret of her racing success. There is a lovely lake in the background of this shot which is a summer wonderland for the town [...]

A journey into the unknown.


 Hello in blogland, a land where I once used to live, I've moved to the inner city slum known as facebook along with many other ex residents of blogland, be all that as it may... some of you might be aware that for the last 20 some years I have been sending my Christmas greeting to my friends in the form of a poem, I have broken with tradition this year and decided to let any stalwart readers who might still exist also share in my wondrous journey through 2013.. Its long and boring so only venture further if you are made of stalwart stuff. Page 1Hey its getting to be a lot like Christmas... Poem time Roses are redViolets are blueIf I write a poemI'll send it to you. NahTwas the night before ChristmasAs I toiled at the computerBut no the juices weren't flowingFor a poem this year I'll need a tutor. Nah As Christmas time draws nearI face my annual fearMy mind is blank as slimeThis year ain't gonna rhyme. Nah... getting worse This year you get a letter, I'm already feeling better... stop it. Well friends what a year its been for this little black duck, I took a road trip to Victoria in January where I did all my normal visits with Friends and Family, both Marcus and Vicki are now living in the Geelong area now so, as will be explained later in this letter, there is some pressure being applied for me to once again take out residency status in Victoria. As usual I had a great time during all of my visiting, the only blot on the copybook being my sister Merle's health, she had a couple of weeks in hospital then another 2 weeks in respite care which did her the world of good but then inevitably they sent her home again.She has been coping reasonably but about 2 weeks ago she had a return trip to hospital and frankly I, and her family, hope she will go into a care situation from there as she has had some problems over the last few months, very stubborn and wants to finish her time in her own house, not the best for her family who are constantly on edge and wondering how she is going.Page 2 Enough of that lets get back to me, me, me, I learned that when you are sick and feeling down the whole world revolves around you (in your mind that is) having always enjoyed good health this was one of the many lessons I was to learn during the year, along with a whole new language with words I had never heard before, much less used, words like Colonoscopy, stoma's, chemotherapy, radiation, cat-scans and a host of others that either described what was going to happen to me. or the person who was to perform it, pretty scary stuff at times, because we live in the kind of world we do health providers are obliged to tell you of all the possible pit falls in what they are proposing to do to you usually ending with "and of course you might die", this got to be one of the highlights of my sessions with them.Lets go back a bit, I arrived home from Victoriaat the end of January and immediately slipped back into my reclusive pattern of life, that is until the  15th, 16th and 17th of February, over this period I had been becoming more and more uncomfortable with  as I first thought a severe case of constipation. On the afternoon of Sunday 17th Feb I took myself up to the Emergency department of the Gympie Hospital where they fairly quickly established that there was a bowel blockage, the method of reaching this conclusion included some poking and prodding into areas that had up until now been private and un-prodded, the verdict was a transfer to Nambour Hospital for surgery.The next few hours saw me with two more new experiences, my first ride in an Ambulance and my first admission into a hospital as a patient, my Sunday night was the first of a few that I would very much like [...]

The Cattle King


I came across this quite large post in my archives and thought somebody out there might be interested in a slice of Australian history, so here it is.Sidney KidmanFrom a humble background as a stockman, Sidney Kidman (1857-1935) went on to own, control, or have a financial interest in more pastoral land than anyone else in modern history. He was known in Australia and throughout the world as "The Cattle King." When Australia had few railways and fewer telegraphs and when there was no such thing as wireless, motor transport, or airplanes, Sidney Kidman started to build and steadily added to two big chains of stations that stretched almost the length and breadth of Australia. With the aid of his phenomenal memory and his intensive knowledge of the geography of the bush, plus a small army of dedicated men, Kidman controlled the movement of great herds of cattle hundreds of miles apart and sent stock from his semi-arid lands in an evenly flowing stream to markets. Kidman used more than 150 stations covering more than 160,000 square miles of country (an area larger than the state of California).Kidman was born on May 9, 1857, in Adelaide, South Australia, the fifth son of George and Elizabeth Mary Kidman. His father died when he was 14 months old. In 1870, when Sidney was 13, he ran away from home to join his older brothers George, Frederick, Thomas, and Sackville, who were working as stockmen and drovers in the Barrier region of New South Wales (now Broken Hill). He was given a job with Harry Raines, a nomadic herdsman who squatted with cattle where he found good feed. Raines was forced to move on when Abe Wallace arrived to take up the land legally, and Kidman found a job at Mount Gipps station in the area as a stockhand at 10 shillings a week. When he asked for a raise in pay in 1873 he was fired. He later claimed it was the best thing that ever happened to him in his life because it forced him to become an independent operator. Kidman never worked for another boss again.Taking on Many BusinessesIn 1875 he set up as a butcher in the canvas town of Cobar, New South Wales, where copper had been found and made money selling meat to miners from his boughshed butcher's shop. Seeing the money that could be made from transport, he acquired drays to cart provisions (flour, tea, sugar, jam, and soap) to the miners. The drays were also used to cart copper ore to the river ports of Wilcannia and Bourke. When gold was found in the Mount Browne area of New South Wales in 1881, Kidman was again in early providing rations and transport for the miners. He set up the first ration store in Tibooburra.In 1878 he inherited 400 pounds from his grandfather. He used it to increase his dealing and trading, especially with horses. For a while he had a partnership with Bill Emmett (also known as Hammett) in Wilcannia and made frequent trips to Adelaide buying and selling horses and droving cattle.He seized every opportunity and tried to make it a profitable one. In 1884 he secured a one-fourteenth share in the Broken Hill Mining Company for 60 pounds, selling it soon after at a profit of 40 pounds. Had he held onto it, his profit would have extended to many millions of pounds.In 1885 he married a schoolteacher, Isabel Brown Wright, at Kapunda, South Australia. They had six children—Gertie, Elma, Edna (Edith and Norman, who died in infancy), and Walter.Kidman joined his brother Sackville in a butchering business partnership at Broken Hill to accommodate the miners; the business extended into coaching in the late 1880s when the Kidman brothers' coaching business became second only to that of Cobb and Co. The coaches ran throughout New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia, and also in Western [...]

Have you ever had "one of those weeks"???


Here is a description of my last medical adventure for anyone that might be interseted, and no there are no photos to go with it breathe easy!!!! Have you ever had "one of those weeks"???On Thursday 17th I had a 10am  appointment to book into Nambour General Hospital for prep treatment for a colonoscopy.For once in my life I decided that today I would get a 6am start and have an organized day, the best laid plans......, Showered, dressed, packed, no breakfast because of the dreaded "Prep" treatment, I had arranged to drop my computer into its second home, the computer repair shop, at 8.30am so all was ready and done by 8.15am I had achieved the impossible... an early start instead of a rushed panic.The leisurely drive to Nambour was just that, leisurely,  I got to Reed House, an accommodation facility run by the Red Cross where I had arranged to leave my car and then stay overnight on Friday while the effects of my anesthetic wore off, all this was done and I was in the designated area of the hospital by 9.45am!!!!!!  I was directed to take a seat in chair 10 while they found my records.... this took an hour or so, but who cares I'm early, about an hour later a doctor arrived and I went to an examination room where we chatted for a while, he left to get some information, a little later an orderly came and put me into a wheelchair, we almost got out the door but were stopped by the doctor who said I had to wait in the waiting lounge........Chair 10 was no longer available, there were only 3 numbered chairs 10, 11, 12, who knows what happened to the first 9 ???? there were some unnumbered chairs at the other end of the room so I took one of them and there I stagnated for another 3 hours, I heard my name mentioned at least a dozen times during this time so this group clearly wanted to get rid of me but were having trouble finding someone who wanted to take me.Eventually  a stoma nurse, whom I knew and trusted, arrived to explain the day from hell, The plan was to get me into a ward where they would do a "stoma flush" this takes about 2 hours and was the reason for the early start and the overnight stay in hospital..... as it was now about 3.30pm it was too late to start now as all the stoma nurses knocked of at 5.00pm.....At about 5.00pm an orderly arrived and took me to a 2nd floor ward where I was welcomed and settled in, unpacked my overnight bag and waited for the "Prep" to begin, at 5.30pm an orderly arrived to take me to ward 1b... so I clearly wasn't wanted here either.Ward 1b was my old stomping ground so I wasn't too upset to be back here, I had been on the go since 6am, sitting around in various uncomfortable chairs all day and hadn't had the treatment I'd come in for... Not Happy Jane!!! To make matters worse I'd missed out on Dinner by a matter of minutes, mind you "clear fluids" only doesn't get very exciting, finally the "Prep" mixture arrived 2 litres tonight and another litre in the morning, Oh the joy of it all, without getting to far into the details, because I have a stoma with a colostomy bag the output from the "Prep" goes through the bag so they put one with a drain to a large bag below it, this meant I didn't have to get up for the usual dashes to the toilet, this is the first plus in a day of minus'.Two different nurses tried unsuccessfully 4 times (2 tries each) to get a needle into my hand/arm for a canula to administer the anesthetic, so that's a job for the doctor tomorrow.There is a male nurse on night duty who wears an LED headlight while making rounds after lights out, in my mind he is Florence Nightingales brother Frank, you know, the guy with the lamp, I was disappointed to learn that his name [...]

Two Weekends of Football


I have been trying to decide how to write this post for a couple of days now to no avail, so it looks like I'll just have to jump in and flounder about hoping not to drown.I spent a fair amount of the last two weekends watching football on the telly, on weekend 1 it was the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final, at this point its probably fair to say that I grew up with and love AFL, on weekend two I watched the NRL (National Rugby League) grand final, the non use of capital letters here for grand final was accidental but it does sum up to some degree my feelings about the day.The pre game entertainment lulled me of to sleep, I was sorry to miss Jessica  Mauboy as I quite like her, the headline act was Ricky Martin about whom I have no real feelings, I believe from comments made after the match that the crowd booed him after his performance, I can't substantiate this however as I slept through it only to wake up just before the main event to find that my TV had also got bored and turned itself off too... true!!!The big game finally got underway and despite the very enthusiastic commentary I was immediately reminded of the two things I find unappealing about NRL, first is the sheer brutality of the game and second is the constant stop start manner the game is played, after each admittedly brief stoppage the players advance somewhere between nil and say 5 metres, sure at some stage there can be an exciting Try scored, in this game there were two such Brilliant and exciting Tries scored that even had skeptical me cheering them on.Another annoying thing to a casual watcher like me is the commentary teams use of dual names, each club in the NRL has a real name and a nickname, in this case The Sydney "Roosters" and The Manly Warringah "Sea Eagles", stay with me here, the commentaters used any combination of Sydney, Manly, Roosters, (even sometimes Chooks), Sea eagles (or Eagles) to describe the play that was occurring, my head was spinning by the finish as to who was winning and even who I was supporting!!!!!!!! Sydney were the eventual winners 26 to 18. (I'm fairly sure I was barracking for them).Are you getting the opinion yet that I found weekend 2 less than satisfying? Weekend 1 on the other hand was a well presented whole days program that kept me interested all through, the game itself played between Hawthorn (Hawks), and Fremantle (Dockers or sometimes just Freo) yeah they have multiple names too but as a general rule only one gets used, back to the game, it was a very lame Game by AFL standards for the first half but the 2nd half fired up to become a good and close game.As with all AFL games the pace was at times frenetic, there was the usual number of spectacular marks, brilliant runs and kicks with pretty much no stoppages, Hawthorn were the eventual  Premiers with a 15 point win (77 to 62) and my thoughts.... A good days entertainment.[...]

MSC conversion


 A base for the bed is under way, while the MSC waits in anticipation. The photos that follow are to show the progress on the conversion of the Maffia Staff Car (MSC) from an 8 seater People Mover to a 3 seater Camper. From the RHS, the 3rd seat, Fridge, Bed Frame all in place. From the rear, The bed frame in place From the LHS, Portable Refrigerator/Freezer (Fridge), Bed Frame and 3rd seat. Bed base and bedding in place. From the rear, bed complete, now working on the storage section below bed.More bits and pieces to be organized in storage area, we're gettin' there slowly but surely, only thing that isn't quite as planned... the metal bed frame could have been a few inches shorter, the base would have just overlapped as it does on the LHS, then the fridge would have fitted the other way round for easier access but it works fine this way. I'm starting to get keen to try it out but until my medical procedures are done I'll probably just dream about it.[...]

The Australian Overland Telegraph Line


 I haven't done a "normal" post for so long... I thought I'd try one!!! The Australian Overland Telegraph Line was a 3200 km telegraphline that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia. Completed in 1872 the Overland Telegraph Line allowed fast communication between Australia and the rest of the world. An additional section was added in 1877 with the completion of the Western Australian section of the line. It was one of the great engineeringfeats of 19th century Australia[1]and probably the most significant milestone in Australia's telegraphic history.[2]   The Overland Telegraph Station at Alice Springs NT, this is very close to the centre of Australia so it was a very important link when it came to connecting Australia to the rest of the world. The Eucla Telegraph Station in WA has not fared well, it is being engulfed by the sand dunes and will in time probably be buried completely The (subsequent) Adelaide-Darwin railway follows the route of the Telegraph Line, using the easternmost (yellow) path. The railway was finished as far as Alice Springs on 6 August 1929, and as far as Darwin in 2003.There endeth the Australian History lesson for today.[...]

Transforming the Maffia Staff Car


Work has begun on the Mafia Staff Car conversion to an o/night camper conversion, it is now a 3 seater people mover instead of an 8 seater, it probably weighs a LOT less at the moment too as the row of 3 seats came in at an estimated (by Bruce and myself) 1/2 a ton and the 2 seats not far behind that, suffice to say they were bloody heavy


There is now a cavernous space on the left hand side for a bed and a 40 litre portable fridge,
this leaves access to the rear between the two sets up front and one set behind the driver, I would have liked to have left the 2 seat unit in but it would have cut of that access so we decided against it.
Along the other side there will be room for all the other STUFF that our modern world demands we take with us... clothes, computer, cooking gear, chair, solar panel, if I decide to go that way, and of course there will be storage under the bed as well.
All in all its shaping up pretty much as I hoped it would.

This is my willing helper, youngest son Bruce, I posed him on the rear steps to highlight the painting efforts of my oldest son Alan, I'm certainly getting a dividend return from them this year and the same can be said for Vicki and Marcus too I don't know what the outcome of the last 7 months would have been without them... huge THANKS TO YOU ALL, including all the other friends and relatives who have been so supportive

From a dear friend.


Did I ever mention how much love and warmth there is out there in the Blogging and FaceBook world.... I have positive proof of this, a very dear friend , who I've never met personally, sent me some hand made crosses that I had ordered from her in the post bag I scanned and attach to this post.
JAMIE DAWN BRADLEY HOOD, COME ON DOWN!!!!! down to Australia would be perfect Jamie then I could thank you personally, you will remain one of my dearest friends for life, Thank You so much.
(thanks for the hand drawn smiley faces too)


Two old farts go to the Gympie Muster


 I'm going to call this post "Two old farts go to the Gympie Muster" if you study this photo closely you will probably be able to work out why.The farts in question are Walter and Peter.  Walter is of German origin so you can guess what we had for lunch, mine was minus the sauerkraut.though.There are other staple foods that are very well represented at the Muster, and of course the states pride and joy 4XXXX beer has pride of place.The iconic "R M Williams" who started out as a bootmaker and is now a leading boot  and country style clothing supplier. Well this is where the main action takes place "The Main Stage" there are 7 other smaller venues all close by (easy walking distance even for ME) but here "on the hill" is where the good stuff happens.The Muster is in its 31st year and is unique in that a group of charity organizations, headed by The Apex Club, organize and run this event each year, I think the total amount raised and shared among these charities is in the 10 million dollar range, so its not just good music but good for the community too.If you look at the left hand side of the main stage you will see these two trees, they are stamped out of metal sheet and mounted on a corrugated iron wall which is painted yellow, the lighting behind them makes for a spectacular effect at night.  And of course no post would be complete without a shot of some of the local wildlife!!!!![...]

G'day Ya'll


Just a minute while I wipe the cobwebs of this page.....
That's better I can see to type now, how have you all been going over the past few months while my life revolved around ME and CANCER?? don't worry we're not here to talk about them things today.
After a longish hibernation I'm back on the internet again... not so much here as on the dreaded Facebook and Pinterest for any of you who are not familiar with Pinterest I recommend you have a look at it, I'm starting to really enjoy creating and adding to my boards, I guess the reason for opting to go to FB as so many of my friends have done is its so much easier to type in a two line description of a picture or something than to write a two page blog post, especially if you want to try and make it interesting as well.
By and large I haven't changed my mind about FB I still don't like it much and at times I HATE it, its not a user friendly program, well not to this user anyway, and the inane posts like... (Its Sunday morning and the sun is shining.) amaze me... who's interested in that sort of post?????
But as I said before its quick and easy (if you don't strike any glitches) and that suits the modern day world, so I'm trying to join in instead of fighting against it.
I'm in the process of changing my car at the moment (another thing I had decided not to do!!!) I'm buying a Hyundai iMax, an 8 seater people mover... for one person I hear you say... the plan is to convert it into a very basic o/n camper, just a bed, fridge, stove and comfortable chair, so that I can break up my long trips with a stop-over at a pretty shady spot or a nice river with the added bonus that I might even catch my evening meal while I enjoy the outdoors... Sounds good to me.
While I realize I'm making a big assumption by expecting anyone to read this if I am so blessed, thank you for being here and please leave a comment so that I can maintain contact.

All the best.   Peter.



G'day, Marcus here again with a quick update on Pop.
He is going extremely well, recovering much quicker than I expected and making significant progress every day.
He's disconnected from all the tubes and lines and drugs and drips now and apart from it being a struggle to stand up is moving around freely. He went for two walks yesterday and climbed two sets of stairs each time.
He had made such good progress that the Dr said he might even come home today but I got a call from Dad this morning that there's been a minor setback with his wound opening up a bit so he'll be staying in hospital another day or two I suspect.
He is in very good spirits and has had none of the difficult and unpleasant after-effects of surgery that he experienced last time.
He must be getting better because he has started cracking jokes at my expense.and playing tricks on me!!!!!! But don't worry, I have his credit card!!!

My wife Carolyn is flying up from Victoria tomorrow for a five day break away from the cold and the stresses of home. Needless to say I am really looking forward to seeing her.

Can't close before saying, "Well Done to the SOCCEROOS who beat Iraq last night in Sydney and are on their way to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Go Aussies!"
I was watching the game while riding an exercise bike at the gym last night and let out a very loud yell when we scored the winner with less than 10 minutes to go!! Just as well there was only one other bloke there with me and he was just as happy about it!

Surgery This Morning


Hi everyone
It's Marcus here, posting an update on Dad's condition.

He had the surgery this morning to remove the tumour from his bowel and I'm pleased to report that the operation went very well and the doctor's were very pleased with the result.
Further good news is that unlike last time, he had no unpleasant after-effects from the anaesthetic and was looking and sounding pretty good when I left him at 6pm.
After some initial concerns about low blood pressure his vital signs were all improving. He won't be able to eat for 2-3 days! and is restricted to ice chips at this stage but if he continues to improve that should change soon. He reported his pain level at just 1 out of 10 although that shoots up to 5/10 when he coughs.
Laughter also causes a spike so I'm trying not to be my normal funny self when I'm there!!

All in all it is just about as good an outcome as we could have hoped for and I am feeling pleased and encouraged.

Thank you to all those who have been sending messages of care and support and for those who have been praying for Dad. He and his family really appreciate it.

Birthday Time.


Did you ever think.... At last My children understand me???I received an early Birthday Card from my Favourite Daughter Vicki today, it was a bit early as today (May 24) is my sister Merle's birthday mine is on May 28 so for 4 days My sister is 3 years older than I am instead of the normal 2 !!!!I digress, the card had all the earmarks of being the perfect card... Until I opened it up.Not even pausing to think that this was a card from my daughter I eagerly opened it up'Scroll Down.Further.Further.Nearly There.True to their word The Black Rectangles had been removed "Cut Out"In case you can't read it the message is "This is from your daughterNot Greenie! I'm sure Warren will be pleased with that!!!!!!![...]