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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..26 April 2014

I am absolutely knackered tonight, it is amazing how tiring it can be walking around the Elizabeth Shopping Centre with a 1o year old girl spending her birthday money. I hate shopping as Brian will happily confirm so there are not too many people I would make this sacrifice for, only my children and of course my grandchildren.

My beautiful granddaughter Caitlin turns 11 this week and as grandfathers we really have no idea what to buy an 11-year-old girl so we thought it safer to just take her shopping. According to Kane she was very excited to be able to go shopping with us and buy what she wanted.

Our original intention was that we would both take her however Brian’s back is getting worse and he was just not able to walk around. By the time I got home I was shattered and I slept on the lounge for a couple of hours, but back to our shopping spree.

Caitlin is what I call a typical female, she loves to shop so we went into every store that could possibly sell anything she might like, some of them we visited twice. In the end she came away with a pair of earrings, a pair of boots with a small heel and diamantes around the ankle, and of all things she wanted some pyjamas. In all she was a very happy little girl.

After shopping we went to the food court for lunch and then I bought Kane’s birthday present as he turns 35 on Monday, crap I feel old. What did Papa get, just lunch and a much lighter bank balance.:)

I was pretty disgusted by one young woman I saw today who was shopping with two young children. As soon as she was outside of the shopping centre she lit her pipe and choofed away like there was no tomorrow. A fine example she is setting her children, her parents must be very proud.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..25 April 2014

That’s the end of another busy week. On Tuesday night we looked after Kane and Kristin’s four children so they could have a night out, something they rarely get to enjoy. Now a few weeks ago they bought each of their children tablets, and as they have wi-fi at home all the kids get a lot of enjoyment from them, I should add that these kids do play outside a lot so don’t think for a moment they are tied to these tablets, they are for after dinner time.

Master 6 Jayden spent almost all night perched on my lap with his bony little butt playing on his tablet, while Master 3 Zak put up a valiant fight for any lap space he could find. Towards the end of the evening Jayden said “Look at this Papa”, and I was not quite ready for what he showed me. It is amazing what you find when you type “poo” in YouTube. I know I should have told him off but I have to confess that I lost it, what he found was so damned funny. I did the right thing and told his father so I assume he has dealt with it.

Wednesday I had a half day off so after catching up on the shows I have recorded I went to Elizabeth to do a couple of things for Blake that he did not get to do before heading to Alice Springs. I did not realise at that stage exactly where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be appearing but it soon became apparent they were close, I couldn’t resist. I only got the most fleeting of glances but the Duchess is simply beautiful, the television does not do her justice, she is truly stunning.  As for the Duke, I don’t think he is that good-looking, not like Prince Harry, but he has a commanding presence, charisma by the mile.

When I did get to the office I had one of my worst days ever, every one that called me was rude, and some got very personal. Sometimes it is very difficult to be pleasant when you are dealing with such horrible people, but that is the nature of any service industry. To top it off I had a marathon meeting, two and a half hours, I was really very glad to get home.

Yesterday my eldest granddaughter Caitlin had a bronchoscopy and had to spend the night in hospital, not that it phases her one bit, it is more of an inconvenience really. Caitlin is an amazing little girl and tomorrow we are taking her shopping for her birthday presents, she turns eleven on 1 May.

Today is ANZAC Day, and this morning I watched the ceremony in Canberra. I was very impressed with Tony Abbott’ s speech, he looked every inch the statesman, and Mrs Abbott looked lovely. As for Bill Shorten, nothing statesmanlike or dignified about him, he looked like he took a jacket and slacks from his wardrobe and was very out-of-place, he obviously is not comfortable on the big stage.

It was heartening to see veterans from every war and conflict represented, it appears that certain stigmas previously attached to the Vietnam War and more recent conflicts are well and truly in the past, and why shouldn’t they be. Our Diggers past and present are all performing a service to our great nation, they are still away from their families, and they are still dying. Lest we forget.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..21 April 2014

Today Brian turns 48 and his younger brother Ian turns 46. Ian lives in Perth so we called him quite early hoping to wake him up as we have had more than one early morning , or should I say very late evening phone call, from him in the past. We had lunch at the Walkers Arms Hotel with Brian’s mother, not a bad meal for $32.50 per head, I would rather pay that than get ripped off at some of the other eating places around town that I shan’t mention again. Before lunch I put $2 in a pokie machine and came out with $35, I was quite chuffed.

I would be lost without Brian, most of the time he keeps me sane, although he has been known to drive me insane as well. He has just woken up from his afternoon siesta, the poor old thing, and is now reclining in his couch like the lord of the manor. Happy birthday Dear, I hope you have many more.  Brian shares his birthday not only with his brother, but also with Queen Elizabeth, although she is just a tad older than he is. We can’t forget Errol in Clayton Bay who also turns 80 something today. Happy birthday Your Majesty and Errol.

I made Brian a birthday cake yesterday, and one of my sons said  that we should keep the numeral candles which decorated the cake, aka 4 and 8, as it will not be long before we can use them the other way around on my birthday cake. No longer in the will.

We got a pleasant surprise the other day, we have been complaining about our excessive electricity bill in this house and behold AGL have made an error and reimbursed us $165. All of a sudden the account does not look so bad.

The mighty Adelaide Crows made it two in a row yesterday which just caps off my weekend, now for three in a row. Come on boys, show the Western Bulldogs what you are made of, a win on the track will make people sit up and take some notice again.

This morning we took Blake to the airport as he starts a new chapter in his life in Alice Springs, and yes there were tears. I fought them back for a while but when he hugged me and told me he loved me I was done. I love you to Son, and I hope this new start will bring you all the peace and happiness you deserve.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..20 April 2014

Easter Sunday 2014 has come and gone, what a wonderful family day we have had, all the people dearest to me in the one place at the one time, bar Bailey who was with his other grandparents. The grandkids ate and drank, and ate and drank, and ate and drank some more, tonight they must be bouncing off the walls…..not my problem. 🙂 My ex-wife was also here, I am so glad that we are now getting on as it is much easier for the boys and the grandkids to see their parents and grandparents on friendly terms.

Finger food was the order of the day, along with a birthday cake for Brian and lots of chocolate. Not a cross word, although there was the odd tear, we are very lucky that all of the children get on so well. It did get a little noisy at times, and Papa was stressing out as usual in the kitchen, but I would not swap it for the world. My sons, my grandchildren and Brian are my reason for being, they make each day worthwhile.

It was a bit of a sad day as well as it is the last time we will all be together for a while as Blake starts a new chapter of his life in Alice Springs tomorrow. Brian and I are taking him to the airport, and there will be tears. I have been very blessed to have all of my children so close until now, but this is something Blake has to do and I wish him every happiness. Just remember to pick up the phone when the Old Man calls son. Tomorrow is also Brian’s actual birthday so we are out for lunch with his mother after we say farewell to Blake.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..19 April 2014

We are now halfway through the Easter 2014 long weekend. Yesterday we went to lunch at Carol’s, I worked with Carol for a very long time at Solver/Wattyl Paints. We had a lovely lunch, I had a couple of Gin and Lemonades, Brian and Carol had a couple of wines, and we had a good long chat, next stop Jo and Kate’s for dinner. Jo made a lovely chicken risotto, we had some laughs, straight lemonade for me this time as Brian indulged a little bit more, and then home.

Today we had lunch with a workmate of Brian’s, Danyel, tomorrow is Danyel’s birthday and Monday is Brian’s so it was a double celebration. We  had lunch at The Grace Establishment on The Parade at Norwood and I have to say I was not overly impressed. I really dislike paying top dollar for a fiddly piece of meat and some strangely cooked vegetable, one of those places where you get a big plate and little else. Brian and Danyel had a chicken salad which was sightly more substantial, and the cheese platter we had for dessert was a disgrace, three teeny pieces of cheese and some meagre accompaniments. Not going back there. Oh, by the way, they do not serve brandy, “We only serve cognac”. To top it off the men’s toilet was disgusting. The girl serving us admitted they had cancelled half of their staff when they realised today was public holiday rates, I hope it was worth it as I know you had more than one disgruntled customer today.

It was not a complete loss however, whomever typed up their menu made a rather amusing spelling error that I was only too pleased to point out, they had “vagetables” on the menu. I shan’t repeat the comments that went around the table. I think someone will use spell check next time.

On the way out today I went to look at a pigeon loft and I think this may be the one, I offered the old gentleman $500 which he is considering. Fingers crossed. I shall have to suck up to Number 1 son Kane as I will need his help to move it.

Tomorrow we have the children , their partners, and the grandchildren all over for an Easter Egg hunt and then lunch. I can’t wait.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..16 April 2014

I make so secret of the fact that I am a royal sycophant, I read everything I can about the Royal Family, and today I have been glued to the television as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George, commence their tour of our great nation. The Duchess looked beautiful, the Duke spoke eloquently and was very well-informed on current matters, and Prince George is a cute little chubber.  Both the Duke and Duchess took their time when speaking to not only those presented to them, but those that lined the route of the walkabout. They are both wonderful ambassadors for Britain and the Royal Family, the Queen and the Prince of Wales must be very proud, as would be Diana.

Another shake-up in the New South Wales government, the reputation of the former Premier Barry O’Farrell is in tatters, and all over a bottle of wine. How many of us have not been presented with a gift as a way of being congratulated, why should this man’s career be ruined over one bottle of wine. Surely as a nation we have bigger things to worry about.

I am pleased to see the Queensland police have made an arrest over the Chloe Campbell abduction, but how ridiculous was it that the faces of the Campbell family that have been splashed all over the nation’s media are now blurred out just because an arrest has been made, and a court case is now pending. I am sure no-one can remember what they look like.

I am a bit deflated at the moment, I thought I had found the perfect loft for my racing pigeons, and I was quietly confident that this weekend I would have not only my loft but also its first inhabitants. I have just found out this loft is 13 metres long, just a tad too big for our back yard, and way too big for what I actually want. My next idea is to buy three or four single aviaries and join them together, yes that might work. Damn I wish I had some handyman skills, but neither Brian nor I are blessed in that way.

You know I don’t really ask for much in this world, and I expect even less, all I ask is that every now and then those that mean the most to me in this world give me just a couple of minutes of their time. I know that we are living in a busy world, and I don’t want to put anyone on a guilt trip. Just take the time to say hello, return my message, return my phone call, just a couple of minutes is all I ask. I know you don’t mean to be abrupt, and I am certain you don’t mean to hurt my feelings, but you do.

Thoughts of a middle aged man…..13 April 2014

You can call me cynical if you like but there is just something not quite right about the abduction of Chloe Campbell. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy this little girl has been reunited with her family, but there is really something “funny”, and I don’t mean funny haha, I mean funny peculiar, about the whole situation.

Last night we had a lovely meal and Ryan and Melissa’s, and two year old Calais kept us all laughing. It was great to see Cody as we have missed him terribly, and I enjoyed watching The Never Ending Story again, well the end of it anyway. Bailey did not quite seem himself but he is a teenager, and is at that age where pushing one’s boundaries seems to be the current state of play. He is doing quite well at high school though which is good.

Dare I say it, dare I say it, what the hell I am gonna say it. The Mighty Adelaide Crows are back on track, yes they took a slight detour but things are looking up. I am very tempted, given the current odds, to put a bet on them to win the 2014 AFL Premiership, I would make a killing if they pulled that off.

The federal government, in particular the Treasurer Joe Hockey, is getting caned in the press and social media alike, for even daring to suggest lifting the pension age to 70. I already have to work until I am 67 so what is another three years. Get your act together people, we are all living longer and healthier lives, something has to give. At every hint of a tax hike the majority of you complain, well just sit down and think about where we would be, where our country would be, if successive governments did not lift taxes. Do not think for one minute that the Labour Party would not be forced to do the same thing one day, albeit thinly disguised as something else, at least this government is being up front. It is all just basic accounting really, you cannot pay out more than you take in, not without a continued deficit which is not good for anyone.

Now I have a bit of a gripe, I am sick and tired of game requests and pokes on Facebook. I appreciate Facebook for what it is, but I am tired of all the other crap that goes with it. I love reading your posts and looking at your photographs, but I do not have the time nor the inclination to play games. Sorry!