All posts tagged: over 50 blogger

Treat me like a pin cushion if that will help

Jetlag recovery? Tick. 100% gratitude to be back home in Australia? Tick. Delighted cat and reasonably delighted-but-still-cool teenage son? Tick. Bullshit lung infection which had me sleeping almost sitting up for three nights then coughing my chest inside out for almost a week? Goddam tick. I AM SUCH A BAD PATIENT. As in, totally IM-patient. Don’t come near me; don’t sympathise with me; don’t tell me I’ll be better soon; don’t tell me about your neighbour who had it too, and how long it lasted, or the worst cough you ever had… Just leave me alone to wallow in my pathetic, grumpy, spoilt-brat sick bed, and give me a wide berth until further notice. Unless you’re my acupuncturist of course. In which case, I want you to come back early from your much-deserved holiday, and stick every single needle you have into every possible meridian point, all over my body, even if they grab or make me wince, and please just help make me better. Thanks. [The illness has actually shifted now, but this petulant rant …

Three more great moments from Mum, thanks to my smartphone ‘Notes’ feature

I’m two weeks back in Oz now, jetlag gone, and trying to make more space on my phone by deleting notes & photos. I’m so glad I was inspired to write down stuff Mum was saying, as no matter how fabulous it was, I just wouldn’t have remembered it all without prompts. Here’s my Top Three (& you need to know Mum is proudly Celtic in heritage, a little unconventional, and sometimes incredibly philosophical). On watching the Carnival Parade in our small seaside town, clapping along to the Marching Band- “Mum, I think you’re out of time.” “No, I’m doing Welsh time.” The next morning, a Sunday, while the church bells are ringing- “Mum, you’re still covered in glitter from hugging that random person off their float…” “Oh well, it’s a good thing I’m not married to the vicar then isn’t it?” At our last dinner together before my return to Australia- “Shall we have a toast Mum?” “Yes: to all the people who love us, all the people who’ve loved us, and everyone who’s …

‘I’ve got to get this done’: dealing with a parent’s dementia from afar

By the time this publishes, I will be en route to the UK. For 3 weeks, I am going to stay with my 82-yr old Mum, who is now suffering quite badly from her dementia. I’ve written about her before in ‘Two rocks lie heavy in my heart; the first is Mum’ . She was having two visits a day from social service carers; it went up to 3 or 4, and now it’s at the maximum of 5 visits. What an incredible gift is a welfare system hey? Some hard decisions need to be made, by family members who see her way more often than I, but it’s me who has the Power of Attorney over her financial affairs and wellbeing. Mum knows I’m coming; she just can’t remember when. Usually I pop in for a few days, then head to France (Australia is a bloody long way from Europe after all), but this time I’m focusing solely on her. Having said that, I’m going to walk every day along the beach, join the gym …

‘Where have you been G?’: stilts, bands, and birthdays basically

Hi! It’s been ages 10 days since I last wrote a post, I’m sorry. Life just got busy, y’know. What with ’18’s big birthday, and 3 gigs on 3 weekends with my fabulous boss/dearest friend, I’ve just not had time to be near my computer. Which is actually very nice, to be honest. Except I miss y’all! But I had to pack my stilts for 2 different festivals on 2 consecutive weekends, including my favourite music festival of the year, at which I saw no less than 15 bands. We then flew to Adelaide for a Winter Festival down by the river, at which I drifted silently like a Cloud, AND met up with fellow WordPress blogger Eve over at Unleashing the Couger – photo credit & fancy filter to Eve. To top off the distractions, yesterday was MY birthday- a proud and delightful 52. FIFTY TWO. HOW THA HELL did that happen? I can’t believe it; when my Mum was this age, I emigrated to Australia by myself, as a feisty, stubborn, yet-also-anxious 20-yr old, …

‘Give me avocado or give me death’; oh what the hell, give me both

Today, Sunday in Australia, is my last day living without my beloved avocados. I have two waiting for me in the fridge, seducing me with their perfect green curves every time I open the door. Which I’m trying not to do very often, surviving on official Refugee Rations as I am. Last day today! OMG I am SO READY for this to be over. There is a part of me that feels lightheadedly content to drift along in this new, vague, low energy, who-needs-to-really-eat-food-anyway kinda cult mindset… but the other 90% of me really misses the energetic, dancing, beach-jogging, feast-cooking, sharp-brained, nut-eating, green-smoothie-making, utter-food-pleasure-loving G. Seven days isn’t long I know; many refugees live for years in camps of uncertainty and severe restrictions. My Western privilege has stood up in front of my face for this whole week, don’t you worry, as well as my complete addiction to greens, as I mentioned before in last post ‘I want to eat my lawn’. I’ve also really missed the sheer simple pleasure I get from food: dreaming …

Time to get a little serious, and possibly hungry

So we’ve been having a nice time here lately haven’t we? New fun hair dos, online dating adventures, and even occasional Teenage Tuesday posts [still in negotiations for full time returns of this activity by the way]. I haven’t told you how devastated and outraged I was by the increased conflicts in Syria, and now the latest school shooting in the US; I know you’re all with me in this distress and disbelief of course. Remember the friend I went walking in Tasmania with for her 50th? She is a tireless advocate for those less well-off than us, and has easily encouraged me to join her in the Act for Peace ‘Ration Challenge’ Australia’. Basically, we’re going to gain sponsorship to eat only refugee rations for a week, which I’m going to find REALLY HARD. Here’s how it started: “Four years ago, Act for Peace staff members Ben Littlejohn and Karen McGrath visited a Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Cramped together in tiny bamboo shelters, people were going hungry because there wasn’t enough …

I went on a great date in the big city with a truly fabulous human being

I live a cruisey 1.5 hours drive from Brisbane, and there was a Queer Arts and Culture festival on called Melt that I wanted to check out this weekend. So I’d already arranged to stay with a dear friend of mine, which helped the rest of the plans for my date fall easily into place. I was excited. I brought my fav blue jumpsuit to wear, and my cute-but-super-comfy platform shoes. I took my time getting ready (my friend had already gone out to a different engagement), and I must admit, I scrubbed up quite well. I even put a tiny bit of mascara and lippy on! Dumb Siri got me a bit lost on the way to the rendezvous, so I went the long way round through a tunnel I’d never even heard of before, but I’d allowed plenty of time, so it wasn’t a drama; I even found a park right outside the massive venue, a pre-war industrial power station turned iconic arts centre called Brisbane Powerhouse. I snapped that photo above which led …

Teenage Tuesday: “Managing your finite power, with Top Ten Tips for self care”

Over 40? Noticing you have less energy than you used to? After almost 6 years of detailed observation and study, here are this Mum’s Top Ten Tips for returning to the boundless power of your youth: If you open a drawer or cupboard door, don’t close it; imagine how much effort you’re saving. If you can’t find something, DO NOT search for it; call out loudly for its whereabouts, and miraculously someone else will know exactly where it is. When you take the lid off the toothpaste, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE replace it. Minimize all cleaning/tidying/sorting activities as soon as possible- it’s best to urgently install a house keeper and butler to ease those daily needs (see #1, #2, & #3 above). Maintain an intense focus for hours on surfing clips, music videos, and occasional computer games, but REFRAIN from studying too much, it’s bad for your eyes. Practice the ability to party all night in 4 separate locations, then sleep half the day [*see Footnote 1 below]. Maintain an unrealistic view of all financial activities …

There’s no such place as ‘Away’

I went for a walk this morning on a local beach near Byron Bay; the tide was super high, as there’s a storm sitting off the East coast, so the waves were frothing and pounding. Without searching for them, I picked up these pieces of plastic directly in my path- the red one is a balloon. I always collect rubbish, and have written about it before HERE, including my top 3 tips for reducing plastic consumption. A couple of days ago, I watched a pelican swooping down to the same sand; I dread thinking about plastic shards in its belly. A friend summed it up terrifyingly: there’s no such place as ‘Away’. No plastic we use just disappears… it takes generations of time. So carry your own takeaway coffee cup: Australia uses over 1 billion a year. Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour. – Carry Your Cup website I simply want ’17’ to be able to walk on a beach NOT covered in plastic, with his grandchildren… Please …

Teenage Tuesday: I swear I’m not writing what he said (as ordered by ’17’), but take a good look at this…

At Home last Weekend Me: Can you wipe up please AN HOUR LATER Me: Sweetie, the wiping up needs doing AN HOUR LATER Me: Come on, I need you to wipe up and put away the dishes AN HOUR LATER Me: OK, I’m getting cranky now, I’ve got better things to do than nag you all weekend AN HOUR LATER Me: Put the washing up away, or there’ll be no dinner!