Saturday, July 29, 2017


Most of you dear readers don't do paid work. Some of you have retired partners. How do you fill in your time? How does your partner fill in their time. Have there been clashes and big adjustments once..........ok, I will be gender specific, once he stopped working and you found he cramped your style. You know, I married him for better or worse, but not for lunch.

R has adapted very well to retirement. He takes Mother out on Thursdays. Fridays he is a volunteer for about four hours to drive old and infirm to various places in a supplied car. About once a month on a Tuesday he takes oldies out in a minibus for a social lunch outing to a hotel or club well away from where they live in inner Melbourne and he gets a free meal. About once every month he has lunch with an old workmate. About every three months he and said workmate take former clients out for to the seaside and for lunch. Once a week he does the housecleaning and he does nearly all of the cooking of our meals, along with the clean up, plus the ironing. He naps in his bedroom for about three hours each day, alternating between sleep and watching tv. He doesn't mind mindless tv and he readily admits he is a lazy bastard and is quite content to sit and do nothing.

He is very content with his lifestyle..........but his way is not mine.

I don't want anything to do with the old, crippled and needy. I don't want anyone's face in my face. I have never worked in a caring profession, though I admire people who do, I could not put up with the nonsense that is involved with that. I have come across the worst and the neediest in my job, and I don't want to have anything like that in my life, aside from family!

It is probably impractical, but I would like to do away with cars and use an alternative car share scheme when I no longer work, if public transport or a taxi is not appropriate . I don't want to drive a car anymore. I hate the sheer incompetence of today's drivers. Just before I become an incompetent old driver, I get so angry when I am driving. I get stressed about parking.

So what shall I do if I retire? I don't like golf. We don't have a garden or pets to care about. Our lives are quite selfish. Short walks on the beach are good. Long walks on the beach sounds boring. On days when I don't work we normally have a bite to eat out somewhere, usually for no more than $10 each and I expect we would often still do this when I am no longer working. It is usually combined with an errand or some shopping to do.

I expect I will do a lot more photo projects, such as I have already done and published about on my blog. I would like to do a photography course, and there are plenty of them out there.

I will rejoin the St Kilda Historical Society and actually go to meetings and participate. There may even be other historical societies I will find of interest.

I have been a long term non active member of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and I would hope that I could offer something of value to them by donating my time.

I will certainly see more movies and perhaps amateur theatre.

So, I have thought about what I might do in retirement, but there are a lot of hours in a day. I expect I will sit even longer on my backside at the computer.

I need to maintain my health and I am a person of routine, even after a lifetime of working rotating shift work, I keep some sort of routine. I will need to set aside walking time. Our building has a pool, spa, sauna, gym, tennis court and room for a pony. Perhaps I will use the pool. God knows, it costs us enough to maintain.

I used to have such confidence that I would never be bored in retirement, but as the day gets closer, I am a little concerned.

Please tell me of your retirement adjustment experiences, or your partner's. I know that at least one of you had a bit of adjusting to your life when your partner retired.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Funny Friday

I don't think there are too  many species of birds in the world who seem to just play for pleasure. Corellas are a sub specie of the Australian cockatoo.  Have a look at their antics on a spinning roof ventilator atop a home in Perth.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The bad sportspeople

As much as I don't have a type (no, I did not say I am desperate), tennis player Roger Federer is not really my type. I cannot think of him in any sort of sexual manner at all. That is rare for me. His looks just do not appeal to me. The point of saying that is that I am unbiased by any desire for him.

But isn't he just the bestest tennis player. He shames Australia's current tennis players by his on court behaviour. While I am not really a tennis watcher, I cannot help but know about him from tv and other media. I have never seen him slam a racquet to the ground, criticise an umpire or abuse anyone, make excuses for an off match, let along brag about the money he makes. He just plays tennis, really well.

There is no contrast between him and Australia's horrors', Tomic and Kyrgios.

Former tennis champions Boris Becker and John McEnroe are often asked for their opinions on current tennis players. I am not sure why, as they started the rot that is generally acceptable in tennis today. Ultimately it is about money. Bad tennis player behaviour should mean a player is sent off and banned for a period. But the players have created such larger than life personalities, that clubs and media have too much to lose if they are banned, Wimbledon included.

Maybe Federer is the last of the gentlemen tennis players? Yeah, Federer, respect.

Quiz Answer

I thought someone might get it. Does this help at all. I want his character name.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


$440 later, we have a beautifully smooth sliding balcony door with new rollers and it fits tightly and seals much better. We once had broken nylon rollers replaced by metal but the metal was wearing out the track. We now have strong nylon rollers that will apparently 'see us out'. The last time a large burly chap just lifted the door off and the cost was cheaper. This time we needed two men, one a glazier with those suction cup things to lift the door off.

Mother gave us a pair of these RSPCA fundraising tea towels for Christmas. They are very good, although quite expensive. I will ask for more as gifts in the future. Our Italian oven is now over a year old and it is brilliant, so R tells me. The dial on the right is the temperature. The dial on the left is incomprehensible to me. It turns various elements and fans off and on. R had to learn how to use the oven. About a month ago he spent a couple of hours cleaning the oven and declared, no more lamb roasts. If you want a lamb roast, have one at a pub. The other thing about lamb roasts is the smell that hangs around after cooking.

Pleasing news

Hippie Niece and her twin daughters and her partner were all admitted to the perinatal depression unit at a major hospital today. HN's partner won't stay there but HN and the girls will and hopefully get the best treatment. Bone Doctor was once a registrar there and says it is very good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


This bloke is not too bad looking. Who is he? Useless hint, he was born in Wales, so why would any Australian know who he is? I did not spend the whole of Sunday on the internet, just most of it. We lunched in town and went to the Old Treasury Building Museum.

Later edit: Think Australian tv in the 70s and him with longer hair in a style of that period.

Tuesday Transformations

A work still in progress, well the landscaping when the photo was taken. Budapest, Hungary by Neopaint.

Thinking a bit outside of the box. Aurec Sur Loire, France by Patrick Commecy.

This one is a bit different being made out of trash and found objects. Lisbon, Portugal by Bordalo.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Musical Monday

I love the eighties. I have showed this clip before but it was a few years ago. I just so much enjoyed seeing it again but I cannot decide which clip I prefer, so here are both to take your pick from, or if you are a glutton, watch both.

Divine died in his sleep as a result of an enlarged heart in 1988 at the age of 42.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Anakie Fairy Park

I scrambled through my drawers for warm clothing. I found a jumper, a very pilled beanie but could not find my slightly more stylish beret, and an unworn scarf that I bought in a department store in Wursburg, Germany in 2014 and still with the label. I paid €10 for the scarf! It is quite nice. I remember combining a little bit of gay with a lot of smiling friendliness to the obvious gay male staff member behind the counter. I failed to move his grumpy countenance. R had bought a couple of polo shirts and had some unkind words to say about said staff member. I replied, it is the German way of service. It is not personally directed at you.

Saying danke went a long way if someone held a door for you or similar, although R got caught out when after saying danke at some point, and was then spoken to in German.

Well, two paragraphs and you don't even know this is about Little Jo's 10th birthday. I needed cold weather gear as we were going to be outside in the cold for hours.

We went to Anakie Fairy Park to celebrate Little Jo's birthday. As I said to Ex Sis in Law on the day, I will slap the first person who makes a fairy joke at my expense. I slapped myself as I made a joke and no one else did. Just warning you though.

When driving there I had my usual fight with Madame GPS (a name stolen from Gattina), and consequently R telling me off for not following her directions. Ultimately her directions weren't so bad, but I preferred Google Maps directions and I thought I had memorised the directions, but I had not. After Madame GPS pronouncing umpteen times, recalculating route, I pulled over and reset the Madame. I really don't know what to do with Madame GPS. She recently got it so wrong and made a drive much more complicated than it needed to be, but this time she made an uncomplicated route and I did not listen. Perhaps I should revert to paper maps.

We were only ten minutes late arriving and Sister and birthday girl Little Jo were already there. Bone Doctor was on call this day and stayed at home, and probably enjoyed the solitude. Soon after Oldest Niece and her partner with Little M and Little Em arrived, and then Tradie Brother and his beloved dog Cobber, then his former wife, Ex Sis in Law with Firefighting Nephew and Hippie Niece. It would have been four hours of driving there and back for ABI Brother and Mother, so they did not come and the paths are too steep to even push Mother around in a wheelchair.

Sister told me there are quite a number of negative reviews of the park online. I don't know why. I thought it was fantastic. Yes, at times phones were out, but mostly for taking photos and only by adults. Kids forgot all the technology they have at home or carry with them and enjoyed the park immensely.

It was a great family get together in the freezing cold of maybe 12 degrees and with a cold wind blowing.

The day before Hippie Niece had a bit of a meltdown and called her care team, CAT maybe. They told her that as she had called them, they would need to visit her the next day. Ex Sis in Law called them back and said no, make it Monday. She is going on a family outing tomorrow and it will be good for her, and I think it was. There were shadows of her former self appearing, as well they might when she is not caring for her two twin daughters. Even her care team is putting pressure on her to get into routines. Her mother makes sure she goes out for a walk shortly after she gets up in the morning.

The easiest to care for one was with her father and she had diarrhea and Ex Sis in Law's husband was caring for the other who had bronchitis. We gave Ex Sis in Law $500 to share with Hippie Niece's father for expenses. It was going to be $1000, but the Scottish blooded me pulled it back. We may give them a bit more money down the track. Apparently baby formula is very expensive. Finally the rich gay uncle's came through. Ex Sis in Law's reaction was almost like they were expecting it. Well, I thought, they should get up at 4 in the morning or be out working until 3am in a crap job, and just do that for 38 years and they might have some money of their own. Ok, I am being unfair, Ex Sis in Law has always worked hard, but I do get annoyed at times at people's assumptions that we are rich. Even the much more sympathetic R has become a little cross with Hippie Niece for neglecting her daughters, only mentioning it to me. Yes, I am sure it is difficult looking after newborn twins, perhaps boring and stultifying at times. Loss of sleep must make you cranky and constantly tired, but you know, women have been doing this for a long time, and HN's partner is struggling too, but doing his bit with one child to care for. But, as I said to R, she does really have mental health problems. One of the drugs she is taking has a side effect of being an appetite stimulant, so she has put on weight too.

Anyway, the Fairy Park was just brilliant and we had a lovely day. Sister brought along a lot of sausages which went on the barbeque to be served with bread or rolls with lots of tomato sauce. As usual, the plain beef supermarket sausages were favoured by all over the lamb and rosemary and chicken. There were plenty of nibbles and sandwiches and soft drink.

We met at 10.30, another reason for Mother to not come (she likes to arrive at about 1pm), and it meant we finished early and were home not long after 3.00.

It used to be that the animated displayed operated by coin in the slot and there wasn't an entrance fee. Now there is an entrance fee and no coin in the slot operation.

These taps, about six of them, operate different water jets in the fountain above.

On a warmer day the place must get packed. It was the last day of school holidays and the park was then closing for maintenance for a couple of months.

It was lovely to see the surrounding countryside.

There were so many animated fairy story telling displays that operated at the push of buttons.

That would be Jack up the beanstalk.

The site is very hilly and unsuitable for even wheelchairs. Because you only walk a short distance from one display to another, it is not tiring at all.

I am not sure which fairy tale this is about, with the ugly man hanging over the balcony.

Kids over 50 years old tried to splash each other with water by throwing into the wishing well twenty cent pieces with great force. The kids would be Sister and Tradie Brother. They are of a close age and get along well.

I said Puff, the Magic Dragon, not poof.

Hansel and Gretel.

They complain about wind farms spoiling views but not about telecommunication towers. Everyone on the land wants a nearby telecommunication tower.

A beauty asleep.

Very Australian.

Of course kids can get on these critters. I'm not at all saying the park is unsafe but in these safety conscious days, there were plenty of ways for kids to injure themselves, if they so desired. It was good to see and I don't believe I heard one child crying that day, not even the ones I kicked out of the way to take photos.

One very funny thing was a rock looking tower about three metres tall and about a metre diameter at the base. On it was a button with a notice that said "Do not press". Oldest Niece went up and pressed the button and proclaimed that nothing happened. What she didn't see was fine jet of water come out the side of the tower and wet someone, who looked around to see where the water came from, expecting it came from an elevated castle wall above where kids were. Later we passed by again and I positioned myself so that a couple of us, not me of course, would be where the water jet came from. I told Oldest Niece to try the button again. She said, nothing will happen, and as she pressed, a water jet shot at her, not the people at the side. Very funny and it was only a little spray.

The arched shelter with many tables and chairs and a barbeque.

The birthday girl's cake. Automan ninjas or something like that.

A visitor after crumbs.

We could spot the sea some distance away. At the highest point there was a viewing telescope.

Some of the best photos of course had people in them, laughing and smiling happy people. It was a great day.