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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..31 October 2013

What a rollercoaster of emotions this week, a week I do not want to repeat in a hurry.

Last Sunday the entire family gathered at Kane‘s for his daughter Alyssa’s 8th birthday celebrations. What a great night it was, all the grandchildren were there, no tantrums, my boys all got along well together, and Kane treated us to am impromptu session on the guitar and drums, something he does not often do for the family.

By Monday night I was starting to feel quite unwell, and by Tuesday morning I felt dreadful. I went to work regardless but by the end of the day I was well and truly wilting so I decided to have the Wednesday morning off as I had an appointment at 12.00.

Just as my appointment finished I got a call from my ex-wife to say that one of my sons had attempted to harm himself, fortunately for him and us he was unsuccessful. Anyway I went straight to the hospital, I was mad but I was relieved and I was emotional. With tears streaming down my face it was a very long drive and when I saw him, and I saw the pain in his face, my emotions spilled over.

I can be a pretty tough cookie, but when it comes to Brian, my children, or my grandchildren, I am not that tough. All I wanted to do was give him a hug and put a band-aid somewhere and make it all better, but that just does not cut it any more.

My other three sons have all been rocked by this, I don’t think any of us quite realised just how much pain my boy is going through. He is now in a mental health hospital undergoing treatment but yet another kick in the guts, the medication he is on for his recently diagnosed bipolar is reacting negatively with his blood sugar levels. What next?

I have faith in all my boys, and I know this son will overcome this and come out the other end a stronger and happier person. If I could have just one wish in this life it would be for all four of my sons to be with me when my times comes, that is the natural order of life, and I will accept no less.

Halloween bah humbug!


Thoughts of a middle aged man…..27 October 2013

It is very overcast here in Adelaide, it has looked like it is trying to rain all day but not a drop so far. There is a warm but pleasant breeze so no problem getting the washing dry. I hope the rain holds ut as we are off to Kane‘s for a family bbq later.

We had a lovely night at Jayne and Denis’s last night, and my potato salad was a big hit, thanks Jo, there is just enough left over to take to Kane’s. As usual Denis cooked up a storm, it was my turn to have a drink so I knocked off a few beers, not my usual beverage, but every now and then I do enjoy a beer or three, or maybe 4, sometimes even 5.

I think we both ate too much last night as neither of us slept well, Brian is catching up on a snooze now but I need to iron some shirts as I will not be home to do it later. Brian’s back is also quite sore today so perhaps a sleep will do him good.

As I sit in my study and write I have a lovely view  over the adjoining park and the little cafe over the road, there is a reasonable amount of traffic as well. It is quite peaceful to just sit here and watch the world pass by.

I have been remiss this week as I have not mentioned the tragedy of the bush fires throughout NSW, the number of homes lost and family memories destroyed is truly sad. To those who lost their lives fighting these fires you are true heroes and my sympathies go out to your families.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..26 October 2013

It’s almost time to wake Brian up from his afternoon siesta as we have to go out shortly. I thought he was upstairs on the Internet whilst I was making salad and doing some washing but the lazy git went to bed instead.

Thanks to a recipe from good friend Jo I have made one damn fine potato salad to take to the bbq tonight. I did embellish it just a tad, sorry I should say I enhanced it, I can’t resist playing with recipes, nothing outstanding just some black pepper and some parsley.

This morning we looked after Cody and Calais as Melissa and Ryan had to empty her late father’s unit. Miss Calais was in a particularly precocious mood this morning, a bit of a sooky lala, but I did what I have always done, I ignored her and when that didn’t work the thought of going to her room soon snapped her out of it. I am a hard old bugger. 🙂

Cody was glad to see us, he told me a couple of times that he loved me. He is such a wonderful little boy, rarely any trouble and always very helpful, he loves to help people. Big brother Bailey went with his parents to help with the move so missed out on Macca’s for lunch.

I got to see a different side of Melissa today as I decided I would help her out by folding the washing which happened to include her undies, you can know too much about your daughter-in-law. 🙂

Time to wake the other half up. Have a good Saturday night.


Thoughts of a middle aged man…..25 October 2013

Today I attended the funeral of my daughter-in-laws father Ian Tomney, and what a lovely service she arranged, Ian would have been very proud. Clarke Family Funerals conducted the service and it was all very dignified and quite tasteful. From a personal point of view I was fortunate enough to share a very special moment with my son Ryan, a moment I will never forget, I was very proud.

Tomorrow Ryan and Melissa have the sad task of emptying Ian’s small unit of his few possessions. I remember when my former mother-in-law passed we had to do the same thing, it is not a pleasant feeling. Brian and I will do our bit by looking after the children so Ryan and Melissa can just get on with it. It all works out quite well really as Ryan’s son Cody has told his mother he misses us as we have not seen him for a few weeks, so tomorrow my beautiful boy we will spend most of the day together with you and your brother and sister.

What a busy, busy week I have had, one more week gone, one more week closer to my annual desk cleaning ritual when we close the office down for Xmas. Between now and then I still have around fifteen AGMs and an IGM, and next Wednesday I pick up a new group. I am now at 90 plus groups and working most Wednesdays which is good. Every cent helps while we continue to save for our next home together.

Brian surfs the Internet most days looking for our new home, he has had some hits and some misses. The hardest thing is finding somewhere where we can both have our own space should we need it, and somewhere to accommodate the dog that Brian wants and the racing pigeons that I want. I am sure we will find that special house when we are meant to.

Meanwhile we have a busy weekend ahead, looking after the grandchildren tomorrow, a bbq at a friend’s house tomorrow night, and another bbq on Sunday night at Kane’s for Alyssa’s birthday. I am looking forward to that one, should be the whole family together, what more can a father ask for.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..23 October 2013

It’s funny how you can forgive someone for all the hurt they have caused you over a number of years, and then one small comment brings it all back and you realise how much they can still hurt you. I would like to think I am a forgiving person, and I have tried very hard to learn to live with my past, but some days it just makes me wonder. This particular person is relatively insignificant in my life now, but it seems that old wounds can be reopened easily, and to be honest probably unintentionally. On the flip side I was no angel, but I did put up with a lot.

Today I knocked off a bit early as I am quite up to date at work, and Wednesday is still supposed to be my day off. It took me longer to drive home at 3.15 than it does at 5.00pm, bumper to bumper all the way up Port Road.

I still have the bug to run my own business, I need to prove to myself that I can do it and be successful. The timing is not right, our first priority is to buy a house, but I can dream, and I am. One day I will find what I want to do, although I think I already have. House first.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..21 October 2013

I was stunned by something I saw last week. As I was driving home along the Esplanade I noticed a bus parked on the opposite side of the road, and then in front of me loads of school children being ushered across the road by their teachers, all this less than 5 metres from a perfectly functioning pedestrian crossing. Whatever possessed school teachers, people who are supposed to teach our children right from wrong, to think that ushering children across a busy thoroughfare is OK. They are very lucky I do not know what school they were from as I would have been on the phone to the principal the next morning.

I have written about this before, this is not an isolated incident, although I have to admit it is usually mothers rushing their children across the road within metres of a pedestrian crossing. These same mothers will scream the loudest and blame everyone but themselves should the unthinkable ever happen to their children. Wake up people.

Then there are the mothers in their big 4 wheel drives that think a big car gives them the right to own the road, to cut others off. These same mothers seem completely oblivious to life outside of their 4 wheel drive, particularly those driving a vehicle that is obviously far too big for them.

Another thing that gets my blood boiling, women putting on their makeup and doing their hair whilst driving. I will admit some of them do have the common sense to do so at traffic lights, if you can call that common sense, but then they just sit there and finish what they started when the lights go green.

That’s my gripe for the day.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..20 October 2013

Today is the eighth birthday of my beautiful granddaughter Alyssa. Alyssa came into this world at the most ungodly hour and then proceeded to scream for the next six months, nothing would pacify her, and then almost overnight she stopped screaming.

Yesterday we took her shopping for her birthday present, it is the first time we have done this and she had a ball, she bought a new dress and a pair of silver sequined sneakers. We went into every shoe shop at the Elizabeth Shopping Centre only to go back and buy the very first pair she saw, and the look on her face when I told her she still had money left to spend. What she does not know is that I bought her Xmas present at the same time, I had Brian distract her while I made a quick purchase. Three Xmas presents down and five to go, for the grandchildren anyway.

Last night we went out for dinner with good friends, and regular dinner partners, Jo and Kate. We went to a local Chinese restaurant and then back to our place for coffee. As always we had a good time with these two girls, even if the night did not finish quite as we had planned. Looking forward to the next time.

Brian and I have spent most of the weekend house hunting. We found a perfect yard, complete with aviaries, for my racing pigeons, but the house itself was a bit ordinary, then we found the perfect house but no room for my racing pigeons. The right combination is out there, it is just a matter of time.

I am a bit annoyed tonight, every time I get interested in something on television, someone who shall remain nameless,  changes the channel. I got interested in the Chopper Read interview, changes channel, I got interested in Escape to the Country, changes the channel. I am really looking forward to a bigger house, with two living rooms and two televisions.

The next few weeks, and weekends, are going to be extremely busy. We have dinners, a wedding, birthdays, including mine, not to mention Xmas shopping, and then of course Xmas itself. I am really hanging out for my Xmas break.  Thank you for reading, and have a great week.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..18 October 2013

What an eventful week, a week of both highs and lows. It has been a few days since I was last on here, I have just been too tired to think, and after a couple of  very late nights I am ready to hit the sack. We have a very busy weekend and I need my beauty sleep.

On Wednesday evening my daughter-in-law Melissa’s father sadly passed away. He was not that much older than me really and his passing, although not totally unexpected, was relatively quick. One day he seemed OK, he was ill granted but things did not seem to be all that urgent, and then the next day gone. There was little I could do to help so I did what I do best, I looked after the grandchildren whilst Melissa and Ryan were by her father’s side.

Last night was the complete opposite, an absolute high. My third son Blake treated me to a night out at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to watch Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil, albeit by default as his friend was sick. What a great show, we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The costumes and the lighting were amazing, and the acrobatics breath-taking. One of the performers was a young man with one leg, he put able-bodied people to shame. There were so many families there, I don’t know how they can afford it, shows are much more expensive than they were the last time I went. What was the best thing about the night, getting to spend some quality time with Blake, it does not happen often. Thank you Son.

Wednesday also happened to be the 25th birthday of Wade’s partner Gink, and tonight we stopped by their home to help Gink celebrate his birthday. We didn’t stay long as Brian’s back was sore and we are both stuffed, so we left the young people to have a good night.

It has been another extremely busy week at the office as well, no sign of a slow down this year. I am already booking meetings for 2015.

That’s it from me for another week. Watch this space for news of the weekend.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..14 October 2013

My thoughts today are with my daughter-in-law Melissa, Ryan’s fiancée, her Dad is in the Lyell McEwin Hospital and he is not doing very well. To make things just that bit harder Ryan is currently working away so Melissa has been dealing with it on her own, hopefully Ryan will be home tomorrow.

I hear the ALP have elected Bill Shorten as their new leader. How much would you like to bet that Mr Shorten will not lead the ALP to the next federal election, a more uninspiring man I have not seen which is probably why Tanya Plibersek has been elected as the Deputy Leader. For my money she would have been a much better choice as leader.

Me thinks we have not seen the end of Labor’s woes, more infighting to come. Only a short-sighted and militant caucus would have wanted someone like Mr Shorten, the party faithful at large did not vote for him, that should be telling the ALP something. They got it wrong again.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..13 October 2013

Another weekend gone but it has been a very pleasant weekend. Yesterday we drove down to Clayton Bay to visit good friends Marg and Mary and Jan and Harvey. Marg made a lovely lunch  then took our Holden Cruz for a test drive as she needs a more comfortable for car for Mary who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. After that Marion and George popped in to say hello, we have not seen them since we left Clayton Bay three years ago.

There is a horrible rumour going around town that Mary has Alzheimer’s, I can assure everyone she does not, Mary is still Mary, her mind and her wit are a sharp as ever. Both Marg and Mary have had a lot thrown at them in recent years, both are very stoic women and wonderful friends. We are extremely fond of them.

Later in the afternoon it was over to see Jan and Harvey who are busy doing up their home so they can sell up and move back to Adelaide. The house looks a treat and will be a good buy for the next owner, although I personally think they have over capitalised.

On the drive there we went through Mount Compass and Nangkita, which has to be one of the prettiest places in South Australia. If you blink on the way through you will miss Nangkita but it is very much worth keeping your eyes wide open, it is always a vivid green no matter what the time of year.

Today Brian and I had a lazy morning and then went house hunting, we found a couple of real contenders so we will just wait and see where things lead, there is no urgency, we can afford to wait. W are  keen to move on however, we have paid someone else’s mortgage for quite long enough, now we are eager to pay our own again.

I have to confess to feeling just a little selfish about this move as I have my heart set on having my racing pigeons again, and finding a house with a suitable space for them is proving to be a bit of a sticking point. We found a great house today however the back yard was completely dominated by an enormous tree which would not suit the birds.

When we arrived home I did something I have not done for quite a long time, I had a Papa nap for a couple of hours. It wasn’t until Brian woke me up that I realised he had done the same thing downstairs. Poor neighbours, both of us snoring like banshees on a Sunday afternoon.

Now for another very busy week at the office. Xmas might be coming but there is no sign of things slowing down for me, I am very much looking forward to a couple of weeks off with Brian over the Xmas and New Year period.