Friday, March 05, 2010

Just a day

Wake 3.30 am and recall that I need the Etag today. Get up and write note for R to put it in my car when he goes to work. Back to sleep until 6.45. Arise to coffee.

Alternate between doing things and computer. I never sit for too long at the computer. I am sure it frustrates R when he is around. I am up and down like a yoyo, but I get things done and keep up with what you are doing in your lives via your blogs and what sweet Emanuel is doing in Latin America, especially his antics that create huge internet traffic. So I did a load of washing, hung up shirts, hung up rest of washing, loaded and put on dishwasher, had cereal and toast, cleaned balcony door glass. I tried doing that yesterday but the Windex was drying as quickly as I sprayed it on, outside of course.

Gather bits together and detach gas bottle from barbecue. Leave home at 9.45. Go to garage, swap gas bottle and have altercation with attendant. I need to see the bottle to make sure it is in sound condition. I reply, it is out at the cage. She said, you need to bring it in. I replied, It is sitting at the cage and you will see when you go out to unlock the cage and we will perform the swap. Grumpy moll, gas bottles are too heavy to carry needlessly. I availed myself of their free air to pump up my tyres. Aren't these modern tyre inflation machines marvellous, compared to the awful old air gauges that were so inaccurate I carried my own tyre pressure gauge.

Head to the Burnley Tunnel. For once people were driving quite well and I did not get hemmed in with trucks to the left and right, front and rear.

Arrive Mother's 11. She has a 12.15 appointment at a doctors' surgery near Berwick. She tells me it will take 25 mins to get there but she is not hurrying when at 12 she calls the surgery to see if the doctor is on time. No, come at 12.45. We arrived at 12.40. I sat for a while in the waiting room and then went out to my car and had a twenty minute nap and then finished reading Wednesday's newspaper. Some old dude in the car next to me was listening to ABC FM and had the classical music too loud. It was bugging me. Mother exited the surgery at 1.30, one hour fifteen minutes after her original appointment time and she was fuming. It is a long long time since I have seen her angry but she was. She had booked the appointment two weeks ago and asked for a long appointment. After the long wait and she finally went into the surgery, the doctor said it was her last appointment and she was running late. She checked Mother's blood pressure and refused to discuss any other matters and suggested Mother go back to her usual doctor in Pakenham. From Mother's discussion with people in the waiting room and the sign I noticed on the wall explaining why doctors run late, this clinic has a reputation. I reckon if my doctor can always be on time, so should most, most of the time.

Mother is a very good letter writer, so I will suggest that she writes a letter of complaint. I know Mother is something of a hypochondriac, but she is an old woman, living on her own and she is very insecure. She could not really direct me how to get to the surgery, even though she is familiar with the area. L used to worry about all that, she said. I never took any notice. She is still in shock over all the things she has had to learn and do since he died. These are basic day to day living stuff, that her father did for her when she was young, that my father did for her and that my step father did for her. Yes, she was spoilt, but she is making an attempt at learning these new skills even though she is in her mid seventies. It is not easy for her. While I had no real idea where we were, I have just located the clinic and I will name and shame, Berwick Lodge Medical Clinic, and btw, sick people don't normally want a blaring tv showing Days of the Young and Restless in the waiting room.

On to Fountain Gate and I felt like I was in a episode of Kath and Kim as I drove around and around and around until Mother noticed something familiar. We lunched at the marvellous White With One cafe. The owner remembered Mother from when she and my step father and two friends of theirs used to meet there every Friday night for a meal and shopping. It would be nearly two years since Mother has been there.

We went our separate ways, Mother to Big W for a new brassier and an engagement card and me to Safeway because some person in the highrise had forgotten to buy a new jar of chilli, and Helga's Light Rye was on a two for one special.

Next stop, Flower Pot or something like that. It was a Kmart plant nursery but another company took them over. Same one as the one in Warrigal Road. Mother was lamenting that it was a long weekend with nowhere to go, so she would console herself with planting a few seedlings. They were expensive and the last time I bought potting mix, it was around $5 for a decent mix. It is now around $11.

I needed some harware and there was a Bunnings nearby. Mother waited in the car while I bought a patio bolt. Little Jo is of an age where she could reach the handle of our now smoothly sliding repaired balcony door, reach the snib and get out onto the balcony. I do not want to see Little Jo splattered down below so the plan is to put the bolt at the top of the door and not worry about key locking it. I can drill another hole and it can be locked a little bit opened too.

Mother knew of a chemist warehouse nearby but we couldn't find it. Instead we went to one in Pakenham on the way home, but also stopped at KFC to get her something for dinner. Arrived home and ABI brother was there. Mother had decided she would like to cook herself corned beef, so ABI brother who does her shopping obliged by getting her some. She will cook it tomorrow. I told her she must have cabbage with it. She said she didn't want cabbage with it. I replied, well neither did we when we were kids, but you made us eat it. She is considering getting Meals on Wheels. A good thing, as it will mean some outside contact too. Mother is a lousy cook and she is getting to the point where she will no longer cook. She is happy enough to heat things up though. While she has never been very competent in the operation of a stove, she is no worse than she has ever been. Because I seldom cook, I have to study the hotplate illustration about which burner to switch on. I will be on to Meals on Wheels at the first opportunity if R is not around to cook for me.

I took my leave about 4.30 and of course the road I have to pay to use was congested. I was one third into the Domain Tunnel when the signage changed to 'Because of congestion on the West Gate Bridge, the left lane is closed for the use of emergency vehicles'. All the cars, me included had to squash over into the middle lane. Why do we have to pay for this congestion privilege? I can travel for free on congested roads. I really feel for the people outbound though, traffic on the freeway was banked back from the South Gippsland Freeway to East Malvern, stop start all the way for them.

Arrived home 5.45. At home, sanity is restored.

Sorry for the mistakes. I am very tired.


  1. You've exhausted me with the retelling!
    Food always tastes nicer when someone else has done the cooking so your mum might take to MoW.
    Some surgeries are chain factories pumping out the production line of a great deal of nothing.

  2. Blimey I need a nap after reading that!
    My docs are never on time, I'm lucky if it's as little as half an hour they're late. There aren't enough doctors surgeries out in the Berwick area, to cope with the population explosion. Same in my area now too. So this is what us residents have to put up with.

  3. Sounds like a good idea for a sit com.

  4. It was obsessively long Jayne, but it is on the record and I felt better after writing it. Mother also has selling her house on her mind at least.

    And I thank you for your attention Fen. I suppose it is common in fast growing area, but I would have thought there would be plenty in your area.

    Have a decent drink before you attempt it Brian.

  5. Hi Andrew,

    I too like Helga's Light Rye, not least of all because it is always on 2-4-1 special. It freezes really well and I have finally found the ideal toaster settings for it.

    Ma Pants has had Meals on Wheels from time to time during post-hospital recuperations and the food is usually decent. It's far too much for a small elderly lady so you will find all the soups and most of the deserts stockpiled in the fridge or freezer. Ma Pants also usually bisected the main courses and shoved one half of those in the freezer too. Women still have to pay for docker-sized portions of food whatever the context.



  6. Helga's does freeze well Pants, although there is the odd loaf that does not. Strange. Although my mother has lost quite a lot of weight in the past couple of years, I am amazed at how much food she eats. Probably lost weight because she doesn't eat foods she suspects don't agree with her. Rather a lot.

    So no raging party in Larrikins End to attend tonight?

  7. Anonymous1:25 am

    Like you, I do not sit still long enough to even read all that is written on a blog in one go..simply because of chores-to-do. I cannot even remember the last movie that I would have seen completely through to the end without having got up to do something.
    Your day sure did sound full Andrew.

  8. Well Cazzie, I expect you are a good bit busier than I am, and I feel I am busy enough.

  9. Mum had MoW but she had a choice of what size meal to order but it wasn't so much the food but the contact with other people. She doesn't remember any of it now but she's fine at the home with lots of friends and activities so encourage your mother to buy into a retirement village not just downgrade to a unit.
    And make sure you have her Tax File Number, something I now have to find.

  10. Ok about the tax file number Jahteh. I don't know that she has one. S'pose she might have paid tax once about forty years ago. If wasn't for her house needing so much done to it, she would quite happily stay in her house for much longer, but we aren't prepared to waste money on it and my Tradie brother is not prepared to put in much work. At this stage, she still values her own space and independence.

  11. According to Centrelink, the tax file number is sent out when you first go on the pension and it's never put on anything from Centrelink. Now you know why I have to go to the Tax Office.

  12. Ok Jahteh. Will stow this away for future reference. I expect my mother will be quite heart and hale and perish quickly. Fingers crossed. Very crisp and clean comment from your renovated pc.