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RIP Dear Mary

Another dear friend gone but never forgotten, Mary passed away last week leaving her long-term partner Marg alone but hopefully not too lonely. Mary and Marg had many friends in Clayton Bay and I am sure they will rally around Marg as she comes to terms with a new phase in her life.

Brian and I were very touched to be included in the private funeral service held last Friday, Mary had told Marg who she wanted at her farewell and it was our privilege to be in attendance.

It was a bittersweet occasion as we got to see many of the people we had known in Clayton Bay, and although it was lovely to see them and have a good chin wag, it was still a solemn occasion, but not too solemn, that was not Mary’s way and her touch in her own farewell was evident to everyone.

Mary and Marg befriended Brian and I when we had the business in Clayton Bay, and they soon became two of our closest friends. We have had many a lovely meal cooked by Marg, and many a good laugh with them both.

During the period I was alone in Clayton Bay when Brian and I were trying to juggle two businesses and maintain our relationship 300 kilometers apart, I would have been lost without these two wonderful ladies.

RIP dear Mary.

Until we meet again……

The last couple of weeks have been quite emotional, I have lost two of my dearest friends, and although both were suffering and are now at peace, one cannot help but have mixed emotions.

First was my lifelong friend Kerry, I had known this moment was coming for quite a while, and her husband Sherif had warned me to expect the worst just a couple of days before her passing, but it still hurt.

Kerry and I first met when we were nine, Kerry’s sister and brother-in-law lived next to door to my family, and Kerry spent almost every school holiday with them as she lived in the south-east of South Australia in Naracoorte. I have many fond memories from those times, we were almost inseparable.

Fast  forward and our relationship changed as we became young adults, and while we did not see quite as much of each other we remained firm friends, and each time we were together it seemed like yesterday. I went with Kerry to her first rock concert, Rod Stewart at Memorial Drive in Adelaide, I was not a fan but it was Kerry’s first opportunity to go to a concert so we went.

Before long Kerry told me she was to be married so down to Naracoorte I went, then it was my turn to be married and Kerry came to Adelaide with her then husband Duncan. The years rolled on and we both became parents, and I was elated to be asked to be the godfather of Kerry’s daughter Summer.

As time passed our lives went in different directions, Kerry’s brother-in-law Max was suddenly killed and I was shattered, he was like a father to me and I miss him dreadfully, and without that bond we drifted apart only to find each other again year’s later thanks to Facebook. We were both over the moon, our lives could not have been more different, but when we finally saw each other again the years drifted away, my friend was back.

Our children were now adults with their own lives, and before long I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to my god daughters wedding, what a lovely day that was, not only did I see Kerry, her second husband Sherif, and all her children, but I got to see Maureen, Kerry’s sister and Max’s widow, a lovely memory.

Last August Kerry and her husband Sherif came to Adelaide from their home in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Kerry’s health was failing as the cancer took hold, and she wanted to say goodbye to her friends and family in South Australia in her way, whilst she still could. It was a bittersweet moment as I watched Kerry get into her car and we waved goodbye, and now she is gone. Rest in peace my dear, dear friend, and say hello to Max for me.

Last week I lost another friend, again it was not unexpected but when the end came it was quick. I will not elaborate further at this point as the funeral is a private one and yet to be held, suffice to say I will miss you, rest in peace.

Capital Punishment

I do not believe in capital punishment of any find, I do not believe it is a deterrent, and therefore the only purpose it serves is revenge. My belief is that you will either commit a crime or you won’t, I do not believe that any criminal ever thinks about the consequences of their crimes until they are caught. Some people are just born bad, the death penalty cannot stop that.

I also believe in compassion and rehabilitation. Take for example the current situation of the Bali Nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran, what good can possibly come from their execution, will the world be a better place, will it stop drug smuggling, I think not.

I may look at things in a simplistic way, but it would seem to me that by the Indonesian President showing these two men mercy, along with those other poor souls on death row, he can do more good for his country in the eyes of the world, than by executing them and facing condemnation. There is no shame in being seen to back down and show these men clemency.

Small Business

Over the years I have always wanted to run my own business, there was never any doubt I would be successful, and the idea of being my own boss really appealed. My father had run his own green grocer before he married my mother, and then many years later he had a very successful fencing company, it was in my blood and I was determined to give it a go.

When I was still married I toyed with the idea of buying a discount variety store, I even had one in mind, but then I had  a wife, four children and a mortgage, and as I was the only bread winner the risk was just too great.

Fast forward a few years and I still had the bug  but this time I wanted to set up my own kitchen ware shop, I thought that would be more achievable than buying an existing business. Unfortunately I was still the only bread winner and so again the risk was too great.

In between times my then wife had operated her own adult party plan business, Secret Scandal, she didn’t do too bad out of that but then along came baby number 3 and that was the end of that, we could not get anyone reliable to do the parties, and it really was not my cup of tea.

Some years later after I met Brian we both had the same bug, we craved our own business and soon found what we thought was the right one, a lovely cafe come general store right on the River Murray, then along came the drought and that was the end of that.

In the mean time we decided to offload that business and buy a pub, we soon found out you could not have your cake and eat it too. We could not sell the cafe and we were living 3oo kilometres apart, and then to make things worse the local football club amalgamated with another team and the pub started to go pear shape.

Any way things got progressively worse and those that know us know what hell we went through, but we came out of it stronger as a couple, albeit a little disappointed that our dream had soured.

That was not the end of the story for me, I still wanted to prove to myself that I could run a successful business so I set up an online retail affiliate of a very large online marketer, however the hype was not worth the effort and Graham’s Goodies weren’t so good after all.

The moral of the story, I still have the bug only now I would like to open a little shop selling collectibles. Will it ever happen, I hope so, then again there is a lot to be said for a regular pay packet and paid holidays.


I understand that commercial advertising on television is a part of life, they pay the bills for the television stations and can sometimes offer up something interesting, some can also be quirky and quite funny. Let’s face it, they are only on for a few seconds at a time, and they give you the opportunity for a loo  or drink break.

Infomercials on the other hand are a whole different animal, and they drag on and on. Answer me this, why do almost all presenters of infomercials have to raise their voices, some almost shout, it does not make me want to buy their products at all, if anything it just irritates me and puts me right off.

My other pet hate with infomercials, why oh why please tell me, are all of their “satisfied customers” American, don’t we have a voice here in Australia, haven’t they sold a single unit of their product to anyone in Australia.

Then we have “wait there’s still more”, all those added extras, freebies, two for the price of one. If they can afford to give away all those extras for free, then who knows just what their profit margins are like, they have to make a buck so presumably we are paying through the nose for their products.

Rant over. Have a lovely day.


I might love the night life, and I might like to boogie, but oh those summer nights, I do not like those summer nights. Come to think of it I don’t like the summer days either. The fact of the matter is I just don’t like summer, rock on winter, or autumn, or spring, anything but summer.

One of the things I dislike most about summer is air conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, I could not last the summer without air conditioning, but I just don’t like it. It irritates my eyes, I don’t like the chill in the air, I don’t like it blowing in my face, but it is infinitely better than the alternative, which is to sweat profusely.

I miss not being able to open up the house, I miss the fresh air and a cool breeze blowing through the house, I miss not being able to go outside without melting. I am so over perspiration and body odour, not my body odour, my sh*t doesn’t stink, but the same cannot be said for some of those other unfortunate smelly souls that think they can inflict their own brand on everyone else, whether it be at the shops or anywhere else for that matter. That waft of BO as you walk past someone, truly gross.

I miss the cooler weather, but not too cold, I don’t like heaters either.


The Money Pit

I am starting to think that Brian and I are living in our own little “Money Pit”, as we have spent a lot of money on this little house in the year we have lived here, and there is no end in sight.

We have done the same things we all should do, we have had the property checked for termites, and to our dismay we had termites in both the front and back yards, but not thankfully in the house, so that meant a follow-up treatment and then further follow ups annually. We also had the gutters cleaned and the downpipes flushed, a lot of muck came out them.

Just after we returned from New Zealand we had the drains checked as the toilet was backing up, that was lovely. Two visits by the plumber later and one from SA Water. We are still waiting on the bill for that one.

Then we had a lot of the trees removed as they were ugly, and how can I forget the snake treatment, shudders down my spine just thinking about it.

Last week we had the rotten pergola replaced, that cost us a pretty penny only to find out that the shadecloth on the old pergola was hiding a lot of wood rot that we are now waiting on a quote for.

Then there is the pebbled water feature that was never really done properly, the pebbles are slowly encroaching on the rest of the yard and it just looks very untidy. We definitely need someone to edge that properly, and at the same time they can edge the pavers under the pergola.

I think the biggest job is yet to come, all of the cement paths around the house are coming away from the foundations, I hate to think what that will cost.

What will we do after that lot, well unless we get any more surprises we will place the house on the market, but at least we will be leaving the house in a better state than it was when we bought it. It has now been loved a little.


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