Monday, November 30, 2020

An anniversary


I took Jenny to my favourite brekkie place this morning for our 35th wedding anniversary.  Still being on good terms after all that time is rather notable.

She ordered a Spanish omelette which she ate with enthusiasm.  I ordered a Viet dish -- honey pork.  I bought her yellow roses for the occasion.

I shaved and wore my best shirt. 



Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Bollywood is no more


It was the family favourite Indian restaurant.  But it lives on in the same place under a new name and under new proprietors

Joe and I went to dinner there last night and we didn't notice anything different, though I think the food was a little dearer. Though $37.50 to feed two of us was still very moderate.  I had the Jalfreezi chicken, which was excellent.

As usual, it was very lightly patronized. It is now called the "Spice Avenue".  They are open until 10pm and are on ph. 3847 6755

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Snake!


I walked out my bedroom door this afternoon to find myself only a couple of feet away from a large and colourful snake. He was black with yellow spots.  Quite attractive.  He was sitting on my desk unmoving so I felt for a moment that it must be a plastic snake. I soon guessed however that it was a python.  I had one here before a few years ago.  He was a couple of metres long.  

Migrants are often nervous of Australia's wildlife so to hear that you can suddenly have a large snake on your desk would freak them.

I called some snake catchers and they came quite promptly -- after about half an hour. They bagged him in minutes with no trouble. Their fee of $120 seemed reasonable for a Sunday callout.  I don't now where they took him.  To a Chinese restaurant maybe

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Changes


Yesterday Anne and I went in to Toyota and put a deposit on a Prado.  So that will progress when they get a new shipment of Prados in the New Year.  She will probably garage the Prado at her place most of the time. I really have no use for it.  My Echo is already perfect for me.  But the Prado will be available to both our families if and when they have a use for it

The new arrangements we have entered into reflect the fact that I now spend most evenings with Jenny.  Anne and I no longer have any regular meetings for dinner.  Only our Saturday mornings remain a fixture

But our Saturday morning this morning was extremely good, with lots of laughs and jollity.  We really have a great talent for good times together.  We breakfasted at our usual place. Anne had Rosti. After breakfast we went to Vinnies and Anne came away with a very good pot for use in the caravan kitchen.  After that we went back to my place and watched videos of classical music.  She left about 11:30

Monday, November 16, 2020

Happiness!

After 15 years together, it was always likely that Anne and I would not be at odds for long.  And so it has proved to be.  We have just had a big pow-wow and have arrived at conclusions that suit both of us well. We both make one another very happy again. As Jenny is the lady in my life these days, Anne and I will not be attempting to revive our old arrangements but we will be reviving one thing that we have always particularly enjoyed:  We will be having Saturday morning breakfasts together again.

An issue that had arisen between us concerned my idea of buying a Toyota Prado solely to tow the large caravan that Anne and George jointly own. For various reasons I had become unhappy with that idea. So we solved that issue in a matter of minutes by way of a good old British compromise.  The purchase of a Prado will go ahead with Anne and me each paying half.  Anne volunteered the remark that that sounded fairer and I of course agreed

I think I have now completed the transition to a new life pattern after the time early this year when my old life with Anne came to an end. I think we have now arrived at realisic new arrangements that should be stable, unstressful and lasting. We have an amazing capacity to make one-another happy and that has survived.

After our big reconciliation, we went and had lunch together -- at our usual cafe -- which was as jolly and affectionate as ever.

As a memento of our big day and its happy conclusion, I gave Anne a classic silver butter dish (with glass insert).  She was with me when I bought it recently so it really was a memento



Friday, November 13, 2020

A breakup


Much to my surprise, on Tuesday 10th, Anne sent me an email cancelling our weekly dinners.  Later that day, however we exchanged messages of mutual esteem so the split was peaceful, which I value.

So in recent weeks I have lost 3 lady friends:  JH, JD and Anne, which sounds distinctly careless

As the split with Anne was unexpected, the effect on my mood was potentially adverse so Joe stayed overnight at my place to give me company.  We had a good night together, mainly talking and watching classical music videos, so that immediately lifted my spirits and I have been in good spirits since

So Anne dines most nights with her obliging partner, George Eakins, and I dine most nights with my obliging ex-wife Jenny.  Jenny is, as ever, an excellent cook so I get dinners derived from an international range of cuisines.  George is a Seventh Day Adventist so Anne cooks him vegetarian dinners.

Jenny and I have in recent days been on a couple of outings in her new and well-appointed Hyundai car.  We dropped in on a couple of Op-shops along the way and I found two shirts that suited me well.  Jenny bought more cookbooks for her collection.

On Saturday night she is cooking and bringing over to me some Larb Moo, a Thai dish we both like.  I normally go over to her place for dinner, a 15 minute drive away.


A recent picture of Jenny

A recent picture of Anne

A recent picture of me

Anne is 75, I am 77, Jenny is 68 and George says he is 75, though he looks more like 60 to me

I wish I could say goodbye as gracefully as the pair below do


EPILOGUE

The Larb moo was excellent!


Friday, November 6, 2020

My new life


A new pattern of living

When I started out looking for a new girlfriend towards the beginning of this year, I was embarking on an unlikely enterprise. My state of health and fitness is so poor that it would need an exceptionally kind lady to take me on.

And after talking to a lot of ladies I have concluded that I have no chance.  So I am giving up the quest.  Unless I attract the interest of a another near-invalid, I am going to have to be happy with the friendships I already have

Fortunately, I am rather well off in that regard. Anne has never stopped seeing me one evening a week and I dine with Jenny five nights a week.  I also see Joe five mornings a week.

And the occasions for all such meetings have now become routine -- always on the same nights and mornings.  As I like routine that suits me very well.

As I am still in love with Anne, seeing her even for one night and morning is very rewarding. 

Then there is Jenny.  I have known Jenny for around 35 years.  During the first ten of those years we were married. Ending the marriage did not end the friendship, however. We have remained very supportive of one another ever since. One illustration of our continued feelings for one another is that I gave her a car during our marriage but also gave her a car around ten years ago -- long after our marriage and while Anne and I were still an item

Dining most nights together is a revival of something that husbands and wives are accustomed to do so doing that again is something familiar to Jenny and me.  I have asked her how she feels about continuing with that right through to my end in a few years' time.  She said that she is happy with that

In summary,  I have a steady refuge of affection and support in Jenny and a great highpoint in my week of my evening with Anne

So I think my life from now on will be very settled, which I like.  No more adventures.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

A young fogey

He is a boy I sponsor to study at a distinguished British public school. 

Preparing for a bike ride -- in school jacket, gloves and bow tie

Note the top hat

At sport. Note the long legs. He will be tall

I too was once a young fogey.  When I was a kid I well remember my mother's friends saying of me "John is very old-fashioned".

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A visit to Shanghai

Gastronomically only, not in person

Last Friday Anne could not join me for dinner. We are transitioning from a Friday to a Tuesday for our weekly dinner -- a transition that suits both of us.

So on Friday I asked Joe if I could share his dinner that night.  He was very obliging and agreed with great civility.  Friday evening is the regular time for him to have dinner with an old university friend. They are both mathematicians and computer games fans. But he was happy to include me and I know his very amiable friend

Joe took us to a Shanghai Chinese restaurant that he knows near where he lives.  He has visited Shanghai twice so knows the cuisine.

When the food arrived I was greatly surprised. I ordered chicken with rice but what I got was nowhere near what I expected.  I will not attempt to describe it but it was certainly a new experience. I did eat (most of) it.  Joe ate what I left.

So if you think you know Chinese food, you don't.  The Chinese food we get here is mainly Cantonese but there are many cuisines in China.  The Shanghainese regard the Cantonese as peasants.

The cook appeared to be a motherly old lady and the very slightly built Chinese waitress wore an amazingly short skirt!  All rather memorable

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Wonders can happen


When at the beginning of this year Anne cut short her times with me in order to spend more time with G.., I did of course feel the need to acquire a new female friend to spend time with.  Given my state of advanced decay, however, that was never going to be easy and it wasn't.  I spoke to and met many ladies who were rightly put off by my geriatric state.

A couple of months ago however I met JD, whom I have already mentioned a few times on this blog.  She too pinged me off at first but I could see great potential for a friendship with her so kept in touch and she has never been quite able to let me go.  We have been having some good Saturday night dinners for some time. And we  have got steadily closer as dinner followed dinner.  We have a lot in common in our thinking.  

So last night (Saturday) we had another good dinner together at a local restaurant, followed by dessert at my place, which  was as pleasant as usual.  But this time there was a sequel

Next day (this morning) she turned up to meet me for breakfast as well.  Dinner only with me was not enough this week. And after breakfast we did a Sunday drive to Wynnum.  So I now seem to have a definite new friend, which pleases me greatly. We do have lots of laughs while we are together

She is rather good looking, blonde and substantially younger than me so you see why I think wonders can happen

EPILOGUE of 5 November:  She had a minor disaster in her personal life shortly after the time mentioned above and has as a result pinged me off for the fourth time.  And there has so far been no going back


Sunday, October 18, 2020

A really bad weekend

On Friday I had lump on my ear cut out by an old-fashioned plastic surgeon.  That night the excision bled and I woke up (Sat.) with blood everywhere.  Fortunately, Anne was on hand and helped me until I could get to a doctor. He bound it up tightly and stopped the bleeding. Anne and I had a Muzza's curry pie afterward as a late breakfast.  

I slept last night (Sun.) with no bleeding

Then this morning (Sun.) I woke up with a sniffle.  I had brekky at the pie shop  with Joe that went well.  We talked mainly about world politics.  But after I got home I chucked my brekky.  I have slept for most of the rest of the day so  believe I may have slept it off.  Anne had something similar during the week and got over it quickly.

I had to cancel my date with JD tonight but we have rescheduled that


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

They're back


Getting pinged off by ladies has happened to me a lot in my life so I have a way of dealing with that: I remain friendly and in contact.  And that worked again. Both JD and JH are back in my life. 

I had a particularly nice time with JD at my place tonight.  She brought over champagne and some excellent pizza and drank rather a lot of the champagne.  We mostly talked about relationships.  We have both had a few

And I now have a dinner date with JH for next week. We will see how that goes

UPDATE:  JH cancelled so I will try no more with her

Friday, October 9, 2020

An auspicious day


In the one day today both JH and JD have dumped me. They leave me with some pleasant memories. As is my custom , I have left my door open

Epilogue

My heading above was of course ironical. Auspicious means expecting a good future. And losing two ladies in one day is distinctly careless.

But the heading has turned out to be more accurate than I intended. I received that same night some news that could be very beneficial to me. I went to bed in a distinctly cheerful frame of mind

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

A NORTH Vietnamese experience


JD and I normally dine together on Saturday evenings.  Last Saturday, however, she was away for the long weekend ending on Monday.  She obviously missed our Saturday, however, as she texted me on Tuesday morning (6th), asking if we could have breakfast together.  I got the text a bit late for that so I took her to the "Buncha Buncha" North Vietnamese restaurant at Stone's corner that night.    Their cuisine is different from the normal South Vietnamese cuisine that we all now know so well

Nem Hanoi

I had the smoked pork dish and JD had a sort of chicken rissoles. Both were good.  But the remarkable feature of the menu was the crumbed rolls mainly containing seafood: The nem Hanoi.  They were very substantial and very tasty.  I took some home and they were still excellent the next day.  Quite different from any other rolls

On the way home, we picked up a dessert from Aldi-- Mango sorbet.  We took it back to my place.  First we had a cup of tea then the dessert.  After that we watched part of an operetta on DVD.  We were both a bit tired before we had watched much of the operetta so called it a night at that stage:  a very pleasant night


Friday, October 2, 2020

Still celebrating


Anne and I have just celebrated again the revival of our Friday/Saturday arrangements.

On Friday night we had a candlelit dinner with champagne, pate  canapes and some authentic cevapi from Adams deli at Carole park for mains.  They were as good as expected.

Then we watched the operetta Der Vogelhändler on DVD until 11pm.  We held hands for most of it so my new sofa has proven its worth!

On Saturday morning, I did not -- unlike her marvelous partner -- give Anne breakfast in bed but we went to the Gold Leaf for a cooked breakfast, which we always enjoy.  It is one of the few places where Anne approves of the coffee, which she noted again this time. She had a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich and I had a Canadian breakfast,

After that we did our usual trip to Vinnies where I bought her a Jade necklace and a straw hat that looked very stylish on her.  We finished with a cuppa at 10:30 so she could get a start on preparing for a family lunch. It all left me with a happy glow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A lovely lady I know



Just a friend -- somewhat to my regret

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A pleasant surprise


I spent yesterday with JH, whom I first met only 10 days ago. We had corresponded before that though, and talked on the phone. And we seemed to want the same things in life. In particular, I wanted a wife and she seemed interested in being one

So when I visited her at her place for the first time today, I was pretty sure of a good reception. As it was, she slapped a big lover's kiss on me even before I had got through the doorway. The rest you can imagine. She was also wearing a shift, a garment you just lift off over your head to leave nothing but woman underneath.

She is of Indian heritage but was born in KL in Malaysia, where there is still a strong British influence, so she speaks good English with a slight Indian accent.  I have always liked India and Indians and have in fact been to India three times.  I have usually had some Indian tenants and understood their way of thinking.  

JH has however been in Australia for 35 years and was married to a big Australian bloke, an engineer by trade. But she became a widow about a year ago.  She describes her marriage as incredibly happy.

And that bears on what I said about a wife.  She wants to be a   wife again.  She knows it as a blessed state. Feminists eat your heart out!  And my marriages have been very happy too -- all four of them.  So I too want a wife again -- or something similar. So JH and I want the same things.  Hopefully  can give them to one-another. 

JH is 62 and in good shape for her age, which I surmise to be in part an effect of her very lively and active nature. She is 5'5" and nestles very nicely into my arms

Is she a conniving woman scheming to rip me off?  She cannot be. I give money to all sorts of people so I will undoubtedly give some to her -- but not enough to be inconvenient. So what is freely given in full knowledge of the dangers cannot be a rip-off


Saturday, September 26, 2020

An excellent half-weekend


A half weekend might seem a bit odd to celebrate but Friday night and Saturday morning just gone were something special.  They were the first instance of my revived meeting arrangements with Anne. Anne has always in the past slept Friday night in my guest room to make a Saturday breakfast convenient and that has now been revived.  Anne now has G.. living with her so it is only friendly arrangements that have been revived but my arrangements with Anne have in fact been just friendly ones for a long time.  But they have been and are very good for all that.

And the revival was very good indeed.  We both have a keen sense of the ridiculous and I was in an exceptionally good mood so it was almost a laugh a minute while we were together.

On Friday evening, I tried to take her to a Persian place that we both regard as special for dinner but they were booked out.  I had neglected to book because I thought all the coronavirus restrictions would have left them substantially empty. At 7pm, however, the place looked in fact to be busier than ever.  So we went over the road to a good Indian restaurant we both know and "well we weren esed atte beste", to burst into Middle English.  I ordered a Vindaloo which was surprisingly mild.

On Saturday morning we went to our old favourite breakfast place at Buranda.  Anne had the cheesesteak sandwich and I had a Deluxe sandwich of my own devising. Both were very satisfactory.

After breakfast we did a tour of the nearby Vinnies and I picked up a cute little milk jug. I have a weakness for jugs!  Anne went home at about 12 noon.

EPILOGUE

My date for Saturday night was the good-looking JD, a smart lady whom I have met only recently. She said she had been celebrating her 64th birthday with her family all the week so needed a special dinner on Saturday night.  So I took her to the Persian restaurant, which always impresses. I booked this time.  I haven't been there recently so I was amused to see that the slim lady with the large bust was still running the show there.  She is quite a sight.

As I usually do, I ordered the the platter for two, which is actually two large platters plus a smaller platter, all three  covered with enticing food.  JD was suitably impressed. 

I had intended to bring a bottle of champagne but forgot.  So JD offered to walk down to the nearby drive-through to pick up a bottle. I gave her a $20 for the purpose.  She asked me what I wanted and I said: "Just some cheap champagne".  She was quite tickled by that.  She kept repeating "cheap champagne"!  She knows I am well-off so was surprised that I would drink such a thing. I just smiled.  Anyway she came back with a rather impressive-looking $30 bottle of French champagne.  French wine has got a lot cheaper in recent years. She said "I don't do cheap champagne".  She is the ex-wife of a well-off professional man so is probably a bit spoilt.  What she bought was a reasonable drop.

I have only one glass of wine with dinner these days and she was driving so also drank little -- so a good half of the bottle was left. So we took it back to my place,  where I stoppered it for later.

I had a glass of it as a nightcap when I went to bed and restoppered the remainder.  So when I woke up mext morning I felt rather decadent (in a good way) to see a stoppered bottle of champagne sitting on my bedroom table  It suggested a wilder night than I actually had.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A remarkable weekend

My memory is a shocker so I want to get this down while I can.

Last Friday while I was at breakfast at my usual haunt, Vera walked in.  Vera is the widow of an old friend of mine so we have known one-another for many years. And people who know me know when and where I am to be found at breakfast.  So we had good chats over breakfast, partly about her Russian background.  When I got up to leave I offered her a small kiss, which she accepted

Then that evening Anne came over for dinner at home which went its usual exceptionally pleasant way.  We had chicken schnitzel for dinner, which is one of my favourites. She announced that it is now definitely agreed that from now on she would be staying the night on Fridays, which was VERY good news.

On Saturday I had a 12 noon lunch with JH, an Indian lady from KL in Malysia. So she spoke good English. We went to a Malaysian restaurant which had very good Malaysian food. We discussed lots of things, including the fact that we are both basically homebodies --  with little interest in outings or travel -- unusual among people in later life.  

For the occasion I abandoned my usual very casual attire and turned up in black leather shoes, long charcoal grey pants, a striped shirt and a Panama hat.  I am pretty decrepit these days but at one point Jess said I was looking good -- rather to my astonishment. I said "It's just the hat" but she demurred.  Ladies do tend to like Panama hats on men. Anyway we will be seeing one another again soon

Then on Sunday I had a breakfast at my usual haunt with JD. She picked me up from home in her large and impressive Toyota Camry hybrid. She is in her mid-60s but unusually good-looking for her age. We got on famously. Our breakfast lasted 3 hours, the latter half of which we spent back at my place!  We discussed a remarkable range of things, including some quite intimate details of our pasts. We will be meeting again but at a time to be decided.

And then on Monday I had my usual Nando's dinner with Jenny.  And despite our having known one another for over 30 years, we still had plenty to talk about

So with that record, people of my vintage would undoubtedly describe me as "a bit of a lad".  In fact, however, I would rather be married again.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Why I am about to buy a Toyota Prado



Anne and I met in late 2005 and we have had and continue to have a warm and happy relationship since then -- for 15 years now.

But it was never an orthodox relationship.  There are some things Anne needs in her life -- such as outings and travel -- that I wanted little or nothing to do with.  While I am a homebody content to spend most of my day in front of my computer, life for Anne would be insufferingly boring without outings and travel.  Travel ambitions are just about universal among older ladies. But I did all my travels in my 30s so have no such ambitions now.

So from early on Anne and I reached a compromise that we were both happy with. We arranged to have only two nights a week together.  I would spend other nights on my computer and I told Anne that what she did on those other nights was no business of mine. No questions asked and no details offered. 

And on those other nights she was welcome to find other friends -- some of whom would be of the male persuasion -- to help fulfil needs I was unwilling or unable to fulfil.  And that worked very well for both of us for a long time.  

It was however an obviously  high-risk arrangement and there was a small rupture about 3 years ago when Anne fell in love with a soulful man from Southern Europe, Mr Wonderful, which reduced our time together.  But she had him move in with her -- and found that Mr Wonderful was in fact Mr Pain-in-the-bum. So she came screaming back to me after 3 weeks and nothing more was heard of Mr Wonderful after that. Our old arrangements were restored.

I thought that after that experience a lady in her 70s with poor health would not be wandering again.  But she still had her old needs so wander she did -- six months ago.  And this time it was big-time. She met G.., who was a much better deal than I am.  He is around her age but is fit, energetic and good-looking.  And he is a real gentleman, more than I will ever be -- and is very obliging to her. He adjusts his life to her life -- a real dream. The only odd thing about him is that he is a lifelong Seventh Day Adventist.  By trade he is a plumber -- now retired.

But Anne and I both see our friendship as unique and Anne did not want to lose it.  So despite the arrival of G.., Anne insisted from the outset of her relationship with him that she would continue to see me -- for one night a week.  And she has done exactly that.  G.. was initially dubious about that idea but he has now become at ease with it.  And I of course became  free to find another lady to give me more companionship  -- which has been interesting.

I was of course depressed to become suddenly second priority in Anne's life but with the help of friends and family got over that.  I particularly missed one aspect of my friendship with Anne -- we used to have Friday nights together and Anne would sleep over at my place so we could share a first-class Saturday breakfast at a cafe we like.  G.. did not like the thought of that at all. So the sleepovers became out of bounds for the last six months.  But I have just got back that time with Anne.


Anne was thinking about buying a caravan so she could fulfil a long-held wish of travelling around Australia. But after two divorces, G.. is poor so he owns only a light and elderly van -- nothing capable of pulling a caravan.. And Anne's car is a Toyota Corolla -- also no towing engine

But I would like Anne to have her trip up the Queensland coast and G.. would be a much better travel companion than I would ever be. So, in my generosity, I had the idea of solving their problem by buying and lending to them a vehicle suitable for pulling a caravan. But that would be a very expensive gift so, in the usual manner of these things, I hoped for a small gift in return. I suggested the restoration of my Friday/Saturdays with Anne. Anne has herself always wanted that and G.. has now agreed to it. So, courtesy of an exchange of gifts, my old arrangements with Anne have not been totally restored but a part of them that I greatly value has been

And throughout my adult life I have always owned two vehicles. For a lot of the last ten years I in fact owned three!  But, for not much more than a month, I have been down to only one -- my trusty 16-year-old Toyota Echo.  So buying a Prado will be something of restoration of the status quo ante bellum.  When it is not being used to tow a caravan, it will be available to visiting friends and family from out of town, as my second car always has been.  

Additionally, it should be some help in my meetings with single ladies.  They generally drive much fancier cars than my little old Echo and presumably look down on it.  The Prado, by contrast, is well appointed so I will presumably gain some respectability by driving it. It costs $60,000+ so that should look good as a sign of economic competence

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A surprising week


On Wednesday night I was scheduled to have lunch with P... She is an ABC (Australian-born Chinese) so spoke excellent English and was very keen on classical music.  I had met her only once before for morning tea. On the morning for our lunch she contacted me to tell me that some work had come up that was going to keep her very busy for a few days so she could not do lunch.  I have not heard from her again.

On Thursday I was set for dinner with a lady whom I had not previously met.  She has a Dutch surname so I thought she might be Dutch.  It turned out, however that she was a Singaporean Chinese.  She had had her eyes done so her Asian origins were not immediately obvious. She spoke good English but with a noticeable accent. She too liked classical music. We had a congenial enough dinner at a nearby restaurant and then went back to my place to watch some operetta on DVD.  She seemed favourably impressed but after a while said: "I have to go now" and bolted out the door quite unceremoniously.  I would be surprised if I saw her again.

Then on Saturday I had a break from the Asian ladies. A blonde lady -- JD -- I had seen only once before over tea about a month ago rang me and suggested that I take her to dinner that night.  She is in her 60s but still looking very good. So we went to a nearby Burmese restaurant where we had a very good dinner and where we got on quite well. We watched some operetta back at my place after dinner. The most interesting thing about her to me however is that she agreed to have a regular dinner with me once a week from then on.  I look forward to that happening.