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Thoughts of a middle aged man….31 December 2012

2012 has certainly been a year of mixed blessings for my family, we started the year as we always do celebrating my son Ryan’s birthday on 2 January, this year was his 30th. In typical Ryan fashion he surprised us all by proposing to his now fiancée Melissa, things were looking good. Ryan and Melissa have had a tumultuous year, Ryan has been unable to find full-time employment, while Melissa scored the job of her dreams late in the year. Keep plodding on guys, 2013 must surely be your year.

My other children have also had their ups and downs, number one son Kane 33 changed jobs mid year and things are looking up for him, despite a minor car accident a few weeks ago. Number 3 son Blake 25 spent a  few months living in Melbourne but thankfully he is back in Adelaide and his wrestling school seems to be taking off, his personal life is also looking more promising. As for number 4 Wade 24, he has probably had the best year of them all, he still is not working full-time but he and his partner Gink started living together and all looks good.

My grandchildren are continuing to thrive, Caitlin 9  had a bit of s setback being diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency but she is taking it all in hers stride, she is one tough littler cookie. The other seven Bailey 12, Cody 9, Alyssa 7, Jayden 5, Jade 5,m Zak 2 and Calais 16 months are all a joy to behold, we are a very lucky family.

I lost my job in February, it came like bolt out of the blue and turned into quite an unpleasant experience, but one door closes and another one opens, and inJuly I commenced my present employment and things are looking good. I stared at 3 days per week which is about to go to 4 days per week, and then hopefully 5 days shortly thereafter.

Brian’s back pain continues to plague him but professionally he has had an excellent year getting an unepxected promotion mid year. He loves the work he is doing now managing two retirement villages, one at Ridgehaven and the other at Northgate. This came at just the right time for Brian and for the first time he feels that he has a career rather than just a job.

Brin and I had a reasonable year, we had lots of little wins on the lotto, I am sure the big one is coming, and definitely more ups than downs. We celebrated our 11th anniversary and have lots of plans for the next twelve to eighteen months, I just know 2013 will be our year.

Mum’s health took a bit of a tumble, we thought we were going to lose her mid year but she bounced back, although she has not fully recovered in my opinion. Dad and my stepmother were forced to sell their home and move to a retirement village as my stepmother’s Alzheimer’s has really got her, it is quite sad,and has taken quite a toll on Dad as well, he certainly does not look as robust as he once did.

That’s it from me for 2012. I would like to thank all my readers for your support and I hope you will continue to follow my ramblings in 2013. Have a wonderful New Year and stay safe.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..30 December 2012

Today was kind of boring, Brian’s back has not been all that good and he has not been sleeping well so he made up for it today. It was after noon when he got up today and he has had no energy all day, at least I got out of shopping again.

There has been nothing worth watching on television all day and I finished my book. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before after all my belly aching about having nothing to read, tomorrow I will hit Semaphore Road and all the charity and second-hand shops. I am bound to find something interesting to read somewhere.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2012, and I for one am looking forward to a wonderful 2013. I will be writing tomorrow’s blog early as we are going out tomorrow night and will reflect on my year that was.

Thank you for reading.

Thoughts of a middle aged man….29 December 2012

Brian and I hit the shops today as we have some gift vouchers to use. We did not find very much we liked and all we came away with was two pairs of shorts each, and I got a new bag for work. Shopping is not my idea of fun but what else can you do when you have vouchers to use. Brian wants to go out again tomorrow…..Yay!

Double James Bond tonight, lucky me. Roger Moore was the worst James Bond ever, and the movies are so dated, but I am looking forward to Skyfall with Daniel Craig, he has made James Bond his.

I don’t know what I will do for the next few days, I have one chapter left in my current book and I can’t go to the library until 4 January as they are shut. Shutting the library at this time of year is simply stupid, Brian keeps telling me to read this or that book we have in our collection but I don’t read fiction.

I think the time has come, I know I said I would never do it but there comes a time when a man just has to accept defeat, I think it’s time I invested in an e-reader, besides e-books are cheaper and I don’t have to scroll through poorly stocked library shelves, that are even more poorly laid out, oh for the good old days. Book shops are also becoming as scarce as hen’s teeth, and if I buy a book on-line I have to wait weeks for it. Yep, I see no choice.

I’m starting to waffle now which is not interesting to anyone so that’s it from me tonight. Over and out. Thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..28 December 2012

One week of my holidays down and another two weeks to go, I am bored, bored, bored. There are only so many videos to look at on YouTube, the television viewing is terrible, and to make matters worse I went to the library so I had something to read and it is closed until the New Year…..Bugger!

I think I may have to drag out some old DVDs and re watch them, The Tudors was good so I might give that another viewing. I know I could do some gardening but that does not interest me at all, too much like hard work.

I checked our lotto from last week today and we had two small wins, one on Powerball and the other on Oz Lotto, thank you very much, greatly appreciated. I placed an extra Easi-pick for tomorrow night on top of our usual four favourites, and still got change.

Today would have been my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary, I say would have as Dad and my stepmother have been married for 43 years, my mother did not remarry but she did have a very long-term relationship.

I can’t think of anything remotely interesting to write about so I will sign off for the night. If you have anything that you would like me to write about please let me know. Thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..27 December 2012

I had quite a productive day today, some weeding, some washing, washed the floors, vacuumed the carpets, and then I relaxed with my book, and I had a little nap, but just a little one as Brian came home just after I nodded off. I also paid my car registration, did my BAS, and surfed YouTube, such a hard life.

I heard something on the news tonight I was not aware of, as of 1 January the Australian government is cutting payments to single parents with school age children by up to $110 per week, apparently they are being transferred to Newstart, ie, the dole. Now I have mixed feelings on this, yes I agree that some of these parents, and most of them are mothers, could go back into the work force which would not only relieve our welfare system, but also help them towards independence, but then again do we have the jobs available to employ these people?

I also heard that 300 public servants have been assigned to “assist” 84,000 welfare recipients during this time, big deal, what can 300 people do? When I was unemployed I could not receive welfare payments as Brian earnt a little too much, that is all well and good and I did not complain, what I did complain about was the lack of assistance I received in finding employment. Centrelink were not interested as I was not on welfare, none of the employment agencies sent me for even one interview so they were a waste of time, and as for Worskil, do not even get me started, absolutely useless, so what help will 300 people be?

I have always been of the belief that if you really want a job you can get one, but having been unemployed this year for some months I have reevaluated my thoughts on that. It is all well and good to try and coerce these people into gainful employment, but there must be jobs available.

Let’s face it, these people are raising children, and I am sure that some of them would jump at the chance to supplement their income with part-time employment. In my opinion the bigger drain on the welfare system is those people collecting a disability pension who are quite capable of working, I am sure we all know someone who is rorting the system, I know I do.

Then there is the bigger question, that of many people, not just those that are supposed to be disabled or are single parents, that are still being paid “under the counter”, cash for work, and therefore not paying any tax but are still on the welfare system. That is what we should be stamping out.

That is my opinion. Thank you for reading.

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Thoughts of a middle aged man…..26 December 2012

That’s it, kids have gone home, grandchildren will all be in bed sleeping, and that is exactly what Papa and Uncle Brian are about to do, it has been a very long day. We have had a wonderful day, the grandkids all played nicely together, no arguments, no tears, no tantrums, they are such good kids, I love them all dearly.

Most of the family stayed for tea but there is still a lot left over, tomorrow night we will be having leftovers of leftovers. I decided to try something a bit different this year so I made a rice salad, something I have not made before, it did not look very appetising but everyone loved it, all gone. Apparently my potato salad is getting better as well, even Brian complimented me.

We had some oysters left over from yesterday so I put them out for tea tonight. My 9-year-old granddaughter Caitlin quite likes seafood and she wanted to try one, they were natural. For one moment after she put it in her mouth she seemed to enjoy it, but then her look changed  and she just swallowed it and shuddered, so I sat and downed a few more in front of her teasing her all the time.

The grandkids loved all their presents, it seemed we did very well this year. Zak commandeered his brothers skateboard, the boys were all shooting each other, and their poor old Papa, foam bullets flying all over. Unfortunately they are all quite good shots so they were banished to the garage to shoot empty soft drink cans from the top of the bins. Today is exactly what Christmas is all about, having fun watching my children interact with their own children and their nieces and nephews.

All good things must come to an end, and I have to admit I am pooped. The dishes are done, the leftovers are all away, and the tablecloths are in the wash, time for this middle-aged man to get some shut-eye.

Thank you for reading.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..25 December 2012

Turkey cooked, lamb cooked, beef cooked, pork cooked, salads almost ready for tomorrow. Today has not really seemed like Xmas without my sons and grandchildren, but tomorrow will be a different story.

Brian, his mother and I did have a lovely lunch, crayfish, prawns, oysters, marinated octopus and pickled calamari, with a nice dipping sauce I whipped up. Dinner was not as big, we didn’t need it. Not much to drink either as I am not a big drinker, I think I overdid it in my teenage years. That seems so long ago now I can hardly remember them, god I’m becoming an old fart.

I have spoken to two of my boys, one of my daughter-in-laws, and three of my grandchildren, I got messages from the other two boys. I have also spoken to Brian’s brother Ian and his partner Gail tonight, Ian is a little worse for wear but he had a good day.

I don’t feel like I have sat down all day, I have spent most of it cooking and the rest of it eating. It is just as well my doctor weighed me yesterday as I had lost weight then, I think I will need an extra jog around the block…..Who am I kidding, I don’t jog anywhere.

Sweet stuff all on television tonight, just repeats of repeats of repeats, how many times can you watch Home Alone or the Carry On gang?

Yet another shooting tragedy in te USA today, more innocent victims of a gutless madman, when will it stop? At the other end of the spectrum was the Queen’s Xmas message, very nice the way she remembered to acknowledge the many volunteers that helped out at the Olympics and the Paralympics. It is easy to forget she is 86 years old, she does not look her age at all and she still speaks with that air of authority and puspose that only she has. Even if you are not a monarchist you could not help but respect her.

The kids will be here for lunch tomorrow and we have a very busy morning ahead of us so early to bed tonight. Merry Xmas all and thank you for reading.