Sunday, June 30, 2013

Going Home

My time in Queensland is almost up. Tomorrow morning I'm driving down to pick up Big Brother Alan who is flying into the Gold Coast. He will take over support/care duties with Dad for the next two weeks. I fly out of Brisbane tomorrow evening and this time tomorrow night will be sleeping in my own bed.It has been really good to be here for the last couple of weeks but it will also be good to get home, especially as I have one more week of holidays left. Dad is doing really well in his recovery, even though it has been much harder/more painful than last time. He has lost a lot of weight and needs to keep his protein intake up to build up his strength and energy. I am confident he will continue to get better every day.
As a parting gift to Gympie I hid my first Geocache today.

After the disaster/debacle of the Cat's capitulation to the Lions last weekend it was a great relief to see them outplay and out-muscle the Dockers tonight in an important game. Go Cats.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kevin's Back

We have a new (old) Prime Minister after a dramatic day in politics. I am glad to see Mr Rudd back in the job. Finally after months of burying their heads in the sand the Caucus realized the only chance Labor has of even being competitive at the coming election is with Rudd as leader. In what might be called a case of political karma, Julia Gillard was toppled when the numbers turned against her, just as she had turned them against the sitting PM three years ago.
Dad and I sat watching the drama unfold on TV and the internet, before turning to the other big battle of the night, State of Origin II,and another victory for Queensland resulted.

I've been in Queensland for two weeks now. Dad's surgery went extremely well and he came home on Friday. He is recovering slowly. The physical wounds are healing but the emotional impact is proving a bit of a struggle. 

Meanwhile I had a welcome distraction from the carer/support role when Mrs Holt Press came up to Queensland for an all-too-brief holiday over the weekend (Thurs-Tues). She had a good time, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, and I enjoyed having her here very much. Her visit coincided with something of a Jones family gathering for her S-I-L's birthday at her niece Alice's place at Eumundi. I always like killing two birds with the one stone. 
We also got to have a look around the fabulous Eumundi Markets.

While Mrs HP was here we took our first exploratory steps into the world of Geocaching and successfully tracked down 4 caches hidden around Gympie. 
Curious? Go here to check it out.

The only down moment of the weekend was the football! Especially as I had driven down to Brisbane to go to the game at the Gabba. Everything looked good until late in the 3rd quarter, then it unravelled badly.
It was some what surreal seeing the Cats go down to a goal after the siren from Ash McGrath in his 200th game! A shoe on the other foot type of experience!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

52 today!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I'm reposting what I put on Pop's blog this morning on his behalf.

G'day, Marcus here again with a quick update on Pop.
He is going extremely well, recovering much quicker than I expected and making significant progress every day.
He's disconnected from all the tubes and lines and drugs and drips now and apart from it being a struggle to stand up is moving around freely. He went for two walks yesterday and climbed two sets of stairs each time.
He had made such good progress that the Dr said he might even come home today but I got a call from Dad this morning that there's been a minor setback with his wound opening up a bit so he'll be staying in hospital another day or two I suspect.
He is in very good spirits and has had none of the difficult and unpleasant after-effects of surgery that he experienced last time.
He must be getting better because he has started cracking jokes at my expense.and playing tricks on me!!!!!! But don't worry, I have his credit card!!!

My wife Carolyn is flying up from Victoria tomorrow for a five day break away from the cold and the stresses of home. Needless to say I am really looking forward to seeing her.

Can't close before saying, "Well Done to the SOCCEROOS who beat Iraq last night in Sydney and are on their way to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Go Aussies!"
I was watching the game while riding an exercise bike at the gym last night and let out a very loud yell when we scored the winner with less than 10 minutes to go!! Just as well there was only one other bloke there with me and he was just as happy about it

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Big Day has Arrived

Dad is currently in the operating theatre at Nambour Hospital undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his bowel.
I am praying and waiting to hear any news.

I flew into Maroochydore at lunchtime yesterday, Dad picked me up, and we headed straight for the hospital so he could be admitted and begin the pre-op preparation.
He was in good spirits and feeling optimistic about everything.

After having my flight from Perth back to Melbourne canceled on Monday morning and being shunted onto the midnight horror flight Monday night I was not in great shape. I slept most of Tuesday then had a few hours to catch up with the family and pack and prepare for this trip to Queensland.
By mid-afternoon yesterday I had a headache and didn't fancy the drive back to Dad's place at Gympie, especially as I wanted to be back in Nambour this morning, so I stayed the night at Reed House, a patient and family accommodation service run by the Red Cross, next door to the hospital.

I said goodnight to dad about 6.00 o'clock and was glad to have a comfortable place to stay nearby and slept pretty well.
However, by the time I got to the hospital this morning they had already taken Dad into surgery, a lot earlier than we had anticipated. I was a little anxious about not having seen him but also glad that it was all happening and the waiting was over. I sought the hospital chaplain and found not one but three chaplain's in attendance who welcomed me and upon hearing my reason for being there gladly prayed with me for the surgical team and Dad's recovery. I felt comforted and encouraged.

If everything has gone well I expect to hear he is out of theatre in the next hour or two.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Back to WA

It's Saturday morning and I'm at Big Brother Alan's place in Perth having spent the week in WA prior to little brother Bruce's 50th birthday party. You know you're old when your little brother hits the half century!
This is the first week of 5 weeks holidays for me and I have been making the most of it and catching up with a lot of friends in WA.

Cam picked me up on Sunday afternoon and we headed for the CFFL mid-season draft at Michael and Rachel's place. Letchy, Warren and Steve were there in person, Peter and Josh joined us online and Kent and Collo couldn't make it. Draft nights are always a great combination of fun and footy talk. For me it is the chance to reconnect with my closest mates, The CFFL has been running for over 10 years so there is a great storehouse of history, shared memories, experiences, fun and mateship between us and I really value my rare opportunities to get together with the boys now that I live on the other side of the country.
I stayed the night at Warren & Laura's in Bayswater.

Monday was a public holiday in WA and I met up with Jordan in town and we took the train down to Fremantle to have lunch. He had been really crook all week with gastro and was still a bit tender. In hindsight  Mexican food for lunch perhaps wasn't the smartest choice we could have made! He survived and was hoping to make it to work the next morning for the first day of his new job at an Italian food wholesalers in Mt Hawthorn.
That night I met up with Chris at Subiaco and we went to the footy to see Richmond beat a disappointing West Coast. Bruce, Paula and Cody were sitting not far from us and were happy with the result. I was too but resisted rubbing it in to Chris seeing as she had shouted me the ticket and driven 800km up from Esperance to be there. We had some dinner in Leederville after the game then she dropped me off at Letchy's place in Ballajura.

Letchy and I had planned to go hiking on the Bibbulmun Track Tuesday and Wednesday but a mishap when I was driving the night-rider bus on Saturday night thwarted that. I slipped over on a pool of water while cleaning some vomit out of the bus(!) and landed very heavily, wrenching my knee in the process. I was limping badly after it happened and although it had improved by Tuesday, there was no way I could have hiked 40km carrying a 20kg backpack.
Letchy lent me his old Gemini and I went to visit our old friend Miriam in Innaloo. She is 93 but in remarkably good shape considering and was delighted to see me.
I had dinner with Mum and Alan before staying at Letchy's place Tues night.

I was up early on Wednesday, met my mate Bruce and we headed down to Busselton for the day. I did the driving because Bruce has a broken wrist, courtesy of an abseiling mishap on the year 9 camp and is off work until the end of August. I needed to do a house inspection in Busselton and talk to the tenants about our plans. We are considering selling the house so that we can buy a place in Ocean Grove so I arranged for a couple of real estate agents to come and do valuations on the house. After finding a few things I wanted in the shed we dropped into the high school so I could say g'day to a few people. I was heartened by the very warm welcome I received from a bunch of people and enjoyed catching up with Gaultie, Cam, St Nick and several others.
Bruce and I wasted no time getting back to Perth because game one of State of Origin started at 5.30 Perth time. After NSW had a rare win I went back to spend another night at Letchy's; with a midnight trip to the airport with Alan to pick up Vicki thrown in.

On Thursday arvo I joined the members of The Breakfast Club, Broady, Hugh and Phil for our first get-together in well over a year. I had hoped we might get away for the night somewhere but typically Broady let me down when it came to organization. Needless to say I gave him grief about it all night.
The Breakfast Club have been meeting together for 20 years so there is a very deep bond between us and we all treasure the times we get to spend together now. I led the group through a bit of a self-evaluation reflection exercise which I think was quite useful in helping us think about where we are in our lives across a whole range of topics. We started at an Indian restaurant, adjourned to an ice cream parlour then finished at a cafe but were kicked out of there at closing time and had to finish the reflection sitting in Hugh's car outside Phil's place. I slept the night in the "school room" in Phil & Julie's backyard.

On Friday morning Alex came to pick me up and we  went to meet Jordy for lunch in Mt Hawthorn. His new job is going well which is great news. From there Al and I went to a local op shop and bought a bed and mattress for Jordan who is currently living in a garage at a mate's place in Wilson.  We picked him up after work and delivered him and his new bed home. He was very grateful to have something proper to sleep on. We drove over to Morley to join the family for a birthday dinner at Sizzler for Bruce, Cody and Zander who had birthdays on consecutive days this week.

After dinner we returned to Alan's place and watched some footy then Alan Vicki and I sat down for a conference to discuss plans concerning Dad who is due to have major surgery on June 13.
We had previously put a plan in place but this had to be re-worked because of other family commitments for Vicki.
We nutted it all out which was useful and a source of relief for everyone.
In short, I'll be with Dad in Queensland from June 12-July 1, Alan will come over for two weeks from June 30 to July 12 and Vicki will go back up once her family have gone home in mid-July.

Tonight is Bruce's birthday party, the major reason I came over to WA but as you can see I have been busy and made good use of my time since I've been here.