Tuesday, February 06, 2018


On my Facebook newsfeed I came across one of those sites where you ask for help with whatever - mostly what is or isn't appropriate behaviour. (It was a suggestion of something I might be interested in from Facebook, one I'm never going to be looking at I might add). All I read was the headline and after the steam of rage stopped fogging up my glasses I deleted it.

What caused me so much fury? You may well ask. The person concerned was asking if she was too old to wear jeans at - wait for it - 53. Fifty three! You're still middle aged at fifty three. You could conceivably have children who are nine or ten years old and who might want - expect - to have a mother who is still able to live an active life style so why wouldn't you wear jeans - the practical all purpose garment that's fashionable as well as functional.

For that matter who has the right to tell you what clothes you should or shouldn't wear based on age. I don't know about you but I dress according to what I think is flattering to me and is comfortable. I passed fifty three a while back and guess what in winter I wear jeans - jeans that are slim enough to tuck into my boots, jeans that are figure fitting, jeans that are dressy enough to go out for lunch, jeans that are comfortable and flattering and jeans that are ideal for housework and gardening. Will I be wearing jeans when I'm ninety - and given my family on both sides is long lived there's a definite possibility that I will reach that age? Absolutely. As long as I think they are flattering - and I can do up the buttons and zips - why wouldn't I?

I'll let you into a secret. I even wear shorts in summer. I wear them to the beach and I live in them around the house. They're not brief anymore (not that I ever wore daisy dukes which I don't think suit many people). These days I tend to wear longer ones but they're still above the knee and I don't care what the fashion police think. They suit my life style and as long as they are flattering - and, if I doubted my own judgement (which I don't) I've had enough compliments to know they do - I'll keep wearing them just as I'll keep wearing singlet tops around the house because my comfort is at least as important as anything else. Yes, there are a few flabby bits appearing but that's life and I see no reason to pretend they're not happening.

Do I ever wear anything else? Of course. I have a wardrobe full of clothes to fit every occasion - and they are all chosen to enhance my better bits and hide that which needs hiding (of which there is an increasing amount these days), Like everyone else I like to look my best but I get to choose what's me looking my best, not some arbiter of behaviour or age. I remember fondly my old next door neighbour who passed away at 96 and whose choice for casual wear was shorts in summer and jeans in winter all her life. For more formal times she could and did dress very elegantly but otherwise in her jeans or shorts she looked old but fine. (She also wore a bikini until she died and while that may not have been the wisest fashion choice she made - I confess that it wasn't flattering - I defend her right to make that choice and if she was happy about it then why shouldn't she.)

I don't know about you but I intend to continue to make my fashion choices based on what I think suits me and have no intention of letting age define me.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bonus Goodies

These are lots of baby rockmelons I've just discovered in the veggie patch. I grew these plants from seed generously donated by the 'volunteer' rockmelon that suddenly appeared among the spring onions last summer. It flourished and produced two fruit - and very tasty they were, too. I saved the seeds, not at all sure they'd be fertile, but they were. Fortunately I had transplanted them and put up a trellis for them to climb on before I broke the bone in my foot which has left me booted and unable to do more than hobble for the last five weeks.

During that time they've been flowering prolifically but until today I hadn't realised that they had fruit forming because the injury has meant I really can't do much in the garden. This is frustrating in the extreme with doing a little hand watering about my limit since I'm not allowed to get the boot either wet or dirty. Pisces has kept up with the watering as best he can but he's not a gardener so the mulch and sheep manure I'd bought just before disaster struck is still sitting in its respective piles and asking him to check what's happening to plants is pretty much pointless. There's no doubt the garden is suffering but there's little I can do about that other than to go out and pick whatever is ripe and within reach of the path and try not to look at the things that are dying. Even that probably doesn't qualify as keeping off my foot as much as possible but hey, it's bad enough not to be able to work in the garden. I need some connection.

Anyhow if I hadn't been doing that I wouldn't have discovered the baby melons, would I? They currently range in size from one as big as a tennis ball to others no bigger than my thumb nail - and there are a lot of them, far more than I anticipated. The thing is because I hadn't realised that they were there I hadn't put any fruit fly baits around - or rather I hadn't got Pisces to put them around. Last year we weren't troubled by the dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly but this year we've already found them in some of the tomatoes. While that's no longer a problem since the tomatoes have all died - no idea why because I can't get out into the garden - melons definitely can get infested, too, so we now have baits 'decorating' the garden. Fingers crossed I'm not too late.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Good News, Bad News and Some Links Just for Fun

It's no secret that the past eighteen months or so have been a bit of a disaster as far as health is concerned for both me and Pisces, culminating for me in a fracture in my foot a few days before Christmas. I'm sure you don't want to hear about all our trials and tribulations so let me give the good news. This is that, one month in, my foot fracture is starting to heal. The bad news is that it's turning out to be a very slow process and it looks like I'll be stuck in the boot for at least another four weeks. It's a pest and not least because I have limited clothes I can wear that won't catch on the velcro that holds it tightly in position. (I usually wear shorts at home in summer so that's okay but for going out I literally have only one dress I can wear over the boot and jeans or long pants are impossible.)

But I'm not complaining too much, although the boot is heavy and hot and not something you want on during an Australian summer (it reached 35 °C here yesterday and today we expect more of the same), because it does have much in its favour over the old fashioned plaster cast. They were much heavier and didn't allow any air circulation. If any of you have experienced 6-8 weeks in a plaster cast you'll remember the smell once the cast came off and much worse the itch that gradually built up until you'd try anything for relief - even the knitting needle that they told you specifically not to use because of the danger of damaging the skin and causing an infection.

It's frustrating, though, and so I went looking for light relief and found this link to cats riding automatic vacuum cleaners.

Then there were these goats having fun.

And, just because it amused me, here are some wild foxes playing on a trampoline.

I  hope you enjoy them, too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


So much for making plans. Since Christmas I have been ill and what I need while I wait on doctors is something light and entertaining. So here for your entertainment - and mine - are some links.

A spectacular display by the Swiss band, Top Secret Drum Corps, performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The brolga is an Australian crane and they perform a graceful mating dance. See. It's celebrated enough to be incorporated into an Australian Christmas carol, the Carol of the Birds by William Garnet James and John Wheeler. This was one of the songs we all learned as kids at school.

I'm not sure that this would appeal to me but then I'm not a female koala.

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Year's Resolutions?

I don't do these as a rule because ... well, I don't know why really. I guess I feel that you either make plans which you endeavour and generally fail to carry out - and recalibrate when things go wrong, or you don't. I prefer to have a few aims - and they don't necessarily have to be in writing - and to work towards them without the pressure of trying to live up to some vague 'motherhood statement' like I will try to be a better person this year. Yes, I know I'm unlikely to achieve all I hope to - the last two years it's been more like achieve anything - but that's okay. You just have to try. That's all anyone can do and making a list on 1 January isn't an essential part of it.

So that's been my general attitude to New Year's resolutions and this year wasn't going to be any different. Or so I thought but somewhere in the back of my mind I must have been thinking about my need to change things after the less than stellar year or so Pisces and I have had. But where to start? I’d read about seeking joy and positivity often enough to feel this was old hat. After all who doesn’t want more joy in their lives? Besides I’ve read so many books that tell you how to do this - usually with lots of impractical suggestions - I didn’t think there was anything new for me. That was until I heard about someone who had simply decided to make a point of enjoying life.

What a brilliant idea. You don't have commit to specifics. You decide to enjoy life and in the process anything can happen. It opens you to a whole range of new possibilities and not the over promoted positive thinking we're told will help us succeed. (I’ve news for the purveyors of such ideas. You can be as positive as you like but if, for example, you’re stuck in hospital or bed bound your situation won’t change no matter how positive your thinking.) The longer I thought about it, though. the more I could see how genuinely good for you finding joy and having fun for its own sake could be. If you do this other things will fall into place and you will thrive. Embracing joy won't stop bad things happening - I'll still have to cope with health issues that will sometimes prevent me doing what I’d like to and the mess the world is in won’t get better overnight - but there'll be time for fun as well if I actively seek it - and I intend to.

So for the first time in my life I'm making a New Year's resolution. I'm going to have fun. Not sure exactly what or where that will happen yet but I'm going to be watching out for every chance of fun I can find. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

and a happy New Year to all.

I'm usually not much of a fan of the Mariah Carey song All I Want For Christmas is You but I did enjoy this a capella version by Out of the Blue.  It was originally released as a charity fundraiser and is still available for download.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The New Year is Coming

and it can't be soon enough for us because 2017 has been one health problem after another. Starting with my continuing illness, which started after my hospitalisation at the end of last year and from which I'm still not fully recovered, nothing has gone as we planned. Granted these days I usually manage to stay up until around 5:30 PM with an afternoon rest of only one and a half hours (in the early stages I was collapsing by 10:00AM and the time I can stay up has slowly increased over the year) but I still struggle to do much and my - our - social life has suffered greatly as a result. I'm not the only one with health challenges, either. Pisces still has his own problems to deal and while he is beginning to feel better, he still has quite a way to go.

Then, just after we sat down on Monday and planned out how to catch up on many of the things that have had to be put on hold (because neither of us have been capable of doing much beyond surviving) disaster hit - again. A few weeks ago we bought a new oven - our old one had started belching out smoke a couple of months ago and there was only so long I was prepared to go without a functional oven - and yesterday the electrician came to install it.

Everything was going well - the oven was installed and working (not without one unpleasant surprise - the person who had installed the old oven had not done the job properly and it could have led to a serious fire so just as well it was being removed). There were a couple of other things we wanted fixed, too, and I climbed the step ladder to check out one of these. So far so good and I started climbing down. Then, as I reached for the last step, the electrician came in, I turned to speak to him, missed the step and hit the floor.

Now I have a broken bone in my foot and I'm wearing a cam boot for some weeks at least. This is heavy and awkward and I'm certainly not going to be able to do any of the many physical things that were a major part of our carefully worked out plans. It's enough to make you wonder what we've done to make the Universe have it in for us.