Wednesday, July 6, 2022

My siblings: Christopher and Roxanne


I have put up a lot of memoirs about the ladies in my life so perhaps it is time I said a little more about my birth family. My sister Jacqueline is deceased so I say below a little about the early days of my two siblings who are still alive and kicking. I have previously made a few notes about my experiences of them as adults. I reproduce those notes also below

My mother had my brother Christopher and my sister Roxanne rather late in life (unplanned pregnancies, I am almost sure) so I remember something of their infancies.

Chris was born in 1955 and Roxanne in 1958. So Chris is 12 years younger than me and Roxanne 15 years younger. Mum must have been 25 when she had me, 37 when she had Chris and 40 when she had Roxanne.

Chris had a problem of sugar intolerance as a baby which nearly killed him (it gave him diarrhoea) but an old nurse (A Mrs Whittington) who lived over the road in Campbell St. told my mother to feed him junket tablets for it. That worked and he has had no similar problems since to my knowledge.

My mother used sometimes to call Chris "my little cookie", which my father soon transmuted into "cookbook" and my father often addressed Chris as "cookbook". I also now occasionally embarrass Chris by calling him that.

I remember that all the other kids in the street used to come and play with Chris. He was the popular one in the family. I used to sit opposite him at the tea table and would tend to look at him with interest and affection while dining. He did not like that at all and every now and again he would complain, "Mum, John's looking at me!" I would then desist.

He was a great go-kart freak as a kid and when he got a bit older this translated into a love of motorbikes. As I like motorbikes too, it was something for us to talk about at times in later life.

Because they are so much younger than I am, I remember the childhoods of both Christopher and Roxanne quite well. My most amusing memory of Roxanne is of her at about age 3 waving her little arm at our father (Frank) and telling him off over something. He of course was just listening and smiling at her. I also remember that if she was ever going anywhere and Frank was in the way he would always step aside for her. He just doted on her of course.

Another memory along similar lines is of my mother trying to get the 3 or 4 year old Roxanne to do  various things -- to which Roxanne would reply loudly: "but I don't wanna". That generally seemed to be taken as a fairly decisive objection.

Roxanne was the good-looking one in the family. There is one photo of her above and I have other photos of her as a little mite with blonde hair and blue eyes that look very lovely indeed: Very much like her daughter Katie.

I think that she and I share the same hyped-up type of nervous system -- which may explain why in her early adult life she commonly had three jobs at once. Apart from her love of work (no doubt inherited from our father) she was quite a hippie for a while in that she liked informality and hippie style dress. When all her children were grown up, my mother used to say that she had four totally different children: An intellectual (me), a bikie (Christopher), a hippie (Roxanne) and a Lesbian (my sister Jacqueline).

Christopher and his wife Kym now have two children of their own: Maddie (Madeline) and "Cricket" (James). Roxanne and her husband Stefan have three daughters, Katie and the twins. The twins are named Emmeline and Kelly. The first is no doubt named after Ms. Pankhurst and the latter after the maiden name of my mother's mother: Both names would then appear to reflect my mother's influence.



May 22, 2008

A rare family photo


The photo below is (left to right) of my niece Katie, my brother Christopher and my sister Roxanne. My sister Jacqueline was also in the original photo but she is terminally ill with the family illness (breast cancer) and not looking good at all so I think I am being respectful in cropping her out of the photo below. Katie is the daughter of Roxanne.



Taken a few weeks ago



September 5, 2017

A reunion

I sometimes nearly forget that I have a sister. She lives quietly in Rockhampton and it is many years since I have been to Rockhampton.

She is however a very vivacious woman so I was greatly pleased that when she was briefly in Brisbane this evening, I was able to shout her a dinner at the "Sunny Doll". Her equally lively husband was with her plus her daughter Katie. Katie is rather quiet. Maybe she could never get a word in edgewise when she was growing up with two very chatty parents.

My brother Christopher was also in attendance as was Jenny. Joe had to work back so arrived rather late but everyone was pleased to see him when he did arrive.

Roxanne was in good form and many things were discussed. I was updated on why and how Rox was "bumptious" during her schooldays and we decided that she got it from her very independent mother. Her mother was also a great talker. We decided that there should be more bumptiousness.

We also mentioned my Aunt Maude. Yes. I did have an actual Aunt Maude! How oldfashioned can you get? My mother was a very critical woman -- I probably get my irreverence from her -- and I recollect that there were only two people she normally spoke well of -- her niece Shirley and her sister Maudie. Stefan said that when he met Maude, she dismissed him as "blue collar". That would have been Maudie. She was a toughie.

In her youth Rox was something of a hippie. Yet now she is a contented wife and mother. How come? In her youth she found most of the males she met to be too shallow. But then along came Stefan, who was just right for her. He is intelligent, very verbal and with a very positive outlook. And they have been together a long time now and still seem to greatly appreciate one another. The pretty little shop assistant met the tall slim telecom technician. And that was it. Roxanne is a teacher these days.

Joe had a few chats with his cousin Katie and it was an amusing contrast to see them together. Katie is rather short and slight and Joe is 6' and well-built so he rather towered over her. Her father Stefan is about 6' tall so her height is a little surprising. Roxanne is also rather slight so Katie seems to have taken after her mother entirely.

At one stage I mentioned that I am a great fan of Mr Trump! Both Rox and Stefan could see that the constant barrage of negative comment about him from the media was biased and unbalanced

The food was good as usual and we had coffee there afterwards



December 19, 2017

A big reunion

One member of my birth family is already deceased but the three remaining were together for once on Tuesday night: Roxanne, Christopher and I. Rox and Stefan came down from Rocky for a couple of days and this time brought their twins down with them: Emmeline and Kelly. Christopher arrranged the Tuesday night dinner at the Story Bridge hotel. It's a beautifully renovated old hotel but their prices reflected that. They were eventually full-up even on a Tuesday night so many people are presumably used to hotel prices (steaks around $35). The food took about an hour to arrive after being ordered but that is common in hotels and what did eventually arrive was good.

People were a bit slow to arrive but we eventually had both of Christopher's children: James and Madeline. Madeline brought along her girlfriend, dressed in an American burlesque sort of way.

Kym came too and readily took the bait when I made a few old-fashioned conservative statements, such as referring to Ceylon as Ceylon. Kym is very "Progressive" and politically correct but she has a good sense of humour too -- which she undoubtedly needs to get on with her husband, my brother, whose attitudes are similar to mine. One thing I noticed was that she tossed her hair a lot when she was trying to needle me. She has a lot of hair so why not use it?

Anne came with me but Joe could not come due to a clashing engagement.

The twins were both nice-looking young ladies but one was short and one was tall. Emmeline was the short one and Kelly was tall. Roxanne is 5'4" so that explains Emmeline and Stefan is just over 6' so that explains Kelly. With her mother's pretty face and her father's long legs, Kelly was quite striking to look at. Tall women do tend to have an advantage in that way. She is also socially pleasant and has the light of intelligence in her eyes.

I should explain that. I find I can tell highly intelligent people just by their eyes. I am not sure I can explain it but it has something to do with them taking long gazes at things. They see more so take longer to look at people and things. They have a "seeing" (reflective, searching or enquiring) gaze. Kelly's father Stefan has it too.

Stefan is a great conversationalist so helped keep everyone near him interested. He could talk to me about house renovations and talk to Christopher about old motorbikes, for instance.

Roxanne talked a lot about her experiences in Saudi Arabia and their attitude towards women. She was in Saudi for a couple of years while Stefan was there making big money as a telecom technician. Roxanne is quite critical of negative attitudes to women so you can imagine what she thought of the Saudis. Her twins were born there so it is a small oddity that two very Nordic looking young women have birth certificates in Arabic. There are not very many blonde and blue-eyed Arabs.

Christopher was in good form, buying drinks for a lot of people. Business must be good at the moment. Anne enjoyed meeting the twins and talking to a lot of the family.



October 1, 2018

The Smiths of Rockhampton

Our mother gave my splendid sister quite a pretty Christian name but about 30 years ago she married a very fine man who was a Mr Smith. And they are still together, wonder of wonders. And Smith is a very useful surname. When you give your name as Smith and people give you strange looks you can produce ID that completely authenticates you.  But you are still almost as anonymous as if you had used a real false name ("real false name"?) Who in his right mind would even try to track down a particular Mrs Smith out of all the millions of Smiths worldwide?  You might be traceable if you lived in Ulan Baator but that is about all.  And with all due respect to Ulan Baator, not many Smiths would want to live there.

So to preserve their valuable anonymity I am going to refer only to "Mr & Mrs Smith" in my ramblings below.

I kitted up for my brief stay by packing my genuine Cabrelli wheeled bag.  Cabrelli are mostly distributors of ladies' fancy handbags but they do luggage too. I was given mine but I rather like it.  I don't like the hard angles of traditional suitcases

Anne and I arrived on the Tilt Train at Rockhampton station at about 6:45pm Friday 28th and were met by Mr & Mrs Smith.  They had booked us in to a very flash motel so Anne and I just dropped our bags off there and we all went to dinner at a nearby Malaysian restaurant.  It was rather flash as such restaurants go but the menu had us all a bit bamboozled. I have been in Malaysian restaurants before so I immediately suspected that the cook might be rather "creative", which is often not good.  Anyway we ordered and found that the food was indeed "creative". But we got it down. I paid the "creative" bill.

But the company was good so the food was not an issue.  I have seen the Smiths rarely over the years so getting to know them better seemed long overdue.  We discovered fairly soon that our political views are not lightyears apart.  The Smiths even had a good word to say about Mr Trump!  You see why I am preserving their anonymity!  We are actually something of a conservative family. Myself, my son and my brother rarely disagree on much in our extensive discussions. The twin studies tell us that Left/Right orientation is highly hereditary so that should not have been a surprise.

What the Smiths approve of in Mr Trump is mainly his opposition to political correctness.  As Mr Smith said to me, "If I think a think why can't I say it?"  And they also saw Trump's shaking up of the existing political system as being a very good thing.

Mr Smith is a technician by trade so is good with his hands.  He enjoys putting mechanical things right.  So even though he is now officially retired he still does stuff like that for its own satisfaction -- though he also is well paid for it.  There are zillions of people knowledgeable in the arts but practical men are in short supply.

An interesting thing that I share with the Smiths is that we have both done rather a lot of real estate renovations and made good money doing so.

And their most recent project has been to build a really swish place for themselves to live in.  The result is immaculate.  It would even get approval in Amsterdam.  From the outside it just looks like a simple and humble suburban home but once you get inside you find lots of rooms with every conceivable facility. And it has great views from the top story.

When they bought it, it was basically sound but a big mess -- a big enough mess to deter most buyers.  So they got it for a very reasonable price. Then over a period of many months they got it right, doing a lot of the work themselves  -- but getting in the experts where appropriate.  They are justly proud of their result.

Mrs Smith has done many jobs over the years, including a spell at a meatworks where our father also worked.  She liked the orderliness of how the place was run. You didn't know that an abbatoir could be orderly, did you?  It hadn't occurred to me. Nowadays she is a senior teacher at a Primary school.  She does not teach a regular class but fills in doing all sorts of jobs that keep the place running.

She is very critical of the Department of Education.  She says that they are always issuing new instructions about things that should be taught -- thus taking time away from the regular curriculum.  But the innovations tend to drift away after a while and the school gets back to doing the same things they always did. The bureaucrats can propose and instruct but it is the workers "at the coalface" who determine what is actually done. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

The Smiths are very health conscious and avoid eating any food  that might be a bit suspect. They are big on vegetarian food but are not fanatical about it. My indulgent lifestyle rather horrified them so I did mention to them that my last blood test showed me to have the internal organs of an 18-year-old.  Even my blood sugar was dead centre. So my indulgent lifestyle hasn't hurt me yet.  And seeing that Mrs Smith and I share 50% of our genes, what is OK for me is probably OK for her too. So I wonder whether that will move them towards a more relaxed diet in some way.

But they have me totally beaten in their fitness.  They still walk miles on a daily basis and do things like cycling up hills!

On Saturday morning the Smiths took Anne and me on a tour of the region, seeing mountains and seascapes and localities etc. I was particularly impressed by the many old buildings from the Victorian and Edwardian eras that still stood in Rockhampton. Instead of tearing their beautiful old buildings down like a lot of fools elsewhere have done, the Rockhampton people have renovated most of their old buildings to look as good as new.  That was a most pleasant surprise to an old sentimentalist like me

The thing I was most interested in seeing in the region was the immensely controversial Iwasaki resort at Yeppoon  -- now known as the Capricorn resort. It is mostly dormant at the moment awaiting a refit but nothing has ever moved fast there.  The extensive buildings are still all there but the grounds are not up to an immaculate standard at the moment.  In one of the few parts of the resort that is still operating is the Japanese restaurant -- so the Smiths were kind enough to stop there even though Mrs Smith is very suspicious of Japanese food. I of course am a great fan of Japanese food.

I shouted lunch there and Mrs Smith decided on ordering the Japanese curry.  I encouraged that by noting that Japanese curry is always delicious without being "hot".  In the end she did seem to enjoy it. Anne and I had the pork Tonkatsu, which was as good as it comes.  The restaurant was pretty packed when we arrived so many of the locals must share my opinion of the food there.

After lunch we went to have a look at Yeppoon, which I had heard of as a beach to which people from inland go for their holidays.  So I expected a small village. I found however that it was a substantial town with lots of shops and facilities.

As it happened, Emu beach was nearby where Anne used at one time in the now distant past to go for holiday breaks. A friend of hers once owned a holiday house there.  So she was interested to revisit the house and take some photos of it, which she did

All in all, the Smiths went to a lot of trouble to make our stay comfortable and interesting, which was much appreciated.

The Smiths also insisted on paying for our two nights at the motel. It was a large and imposing apartment motel which was very spacious and comfortable and with good views of the huge Fitzroy river.



It was however odd in having neither a minibar nor room service.  Life is full of surprises.

On Saturday night neither Anne nor I felt like a big dinner after our Japanese lunch so we just had Angus burgers at a nearby steak house.  And they were remarkably good.

We managed to get up at 6am the following Sunday morning to get a taxi back to the railway station. And the taxi driver was a chatty Australian, which was rather a blast from the past  You mostly get Indians with limited English as drivers in Brisbane

I did not like the trip on the Tilt Train. Too slow and cramped.  but I have expanded at length on that elsewhere.



July 29, 2021

A dinner visit from Roxanne

An extremely welcome visit this evening from my sister Roxanne and her husband Stefan. They had tried to get down from Rockhampton for my birthday but were put off by all the lockdown regulations.

They are both pretty voluble so the conversation flowed. He works as a part-time mechanic and she is a primary school teacher. She says the kids don't learn nearly as much these days as they once did. They live in gorgeous multi-level house with ocean views located just outside Rockhampton.

Rox and I have lived very different lives. She found her soul-mate in Stefan long ago and they have been pretty sufficient to one-another ever since. They are both very energetic and have never stopped working. So they are pretty well off. They have 3 gorgeous daughters now grown up. Rox and I get on pretty well but because of our different lives we rarely see one another.

A the time of the visit I was not feeling very well so I had to get back to my bed shortly after the dinner. Jenny made an excellent curry for us



Monday, July 4, 2022

A disgraceful Sabbatical in London


In 1977 I had a Sabbatical year in London. It was a lively time involving some people I would not want to embarrass but as I am getting on I think the time has come for me to put up a version of the notes I made at the time.  The events concerned did after all happen 45 years ago now.

I was given an  office at the Institute of Psychiatry by Hans Eysenck (now deceased) but I did not see a great deal of him. He was a very quiet sort of a person. Not what one expects of the (then) world's most quoted living psychologist. 

My Scottish wife was with me until about July when she had to return to Australia.  When she left I was not inclined towards a monk-like existence so "let my hair down" a bit in the following months and made a lot of female friends

Susan B

One of the more remarkable of these was Susan B. I met her at an Intervarsity Club (IVC) do. She is a medical practitioner by occupation (which shows that she was a pretty bright woman), was about 38 at the time (but could pass for being in the mid-20s) and is far and away the most beautiful woman I have ever known. Her looks just bowl everyone over. People just stop talking when she enters the room. She had the looks and figure of a top model (though at 5'7" she was a bit short to be a model) plus very white skin, long blonde hair and blue eyes. She also has a political outlook similar to mine. 

Her beauty has had an unfortunate outcome, however. It means men are never honest with her. They will say and do anything to get into her pants. The result is that she has taken refuge in the bottle. She is a dipsomaniac (binge drinker). 

I of course was my usual blunt self and she liked that greatly. In fact, when I returned to Australia, she followed me out here within a month or two and wanted me to marry her. It was a tough decision for me. Being pursued by a beautiful and gifted woman certainly is some sort of pinnacle. We really saw eye to eye, I really liked her, bedtimes would have been good, she would have made me much sought-after socially and, as I was a fairly heavy drinker myself at the time, the booze would not have been a great problem. I would just have had to keep her off it during the day and all would be well. 

I think the main thing that made the decision for me was that I really liked my wife at the time (I still do). Not only was she invariably pleasant, cheerful, loving and easy-going but we had similar interests in the social and life-sciences and I also found her body more sexy: She had a great figure. I suppose I like sexiness more than beauty. The two have something in common but are far from the same. And my wife certainly made life much easier for me than Suzy would have.  

Margaret T

Another real lady I met in London was Margaret T. I still correspond with her occasionally. She is about 10 years younger than me. I met her at an I.V.C. party as well. Her mother is the daughter of an Earl so has the title "Lady". The present Earl (who sat, of course, in the House of Lords at that time) is Margaret's uncle. It is a Victorian title but via another lineage she traces back her ancestry for about 1,000 years. Only the gentry can do that

Margaret is a really kind and gentle person -- 5'10" tall, slim, with very blue eyes, brown hair and quite a nice slim figure. I spent a day or two at her family's stately home.  She wanted me to marry her too. But again at the time I preferred my good-hearted and sexy Scottish wife. It was a close-run thing, however, and I had Margaret in mind for many years afterwards. 

Margaret at one time took me to see one of her uncles. I initially got that frozen reception that the English upper class reserve for someone who is not one of them but things changed rapidly as the conversation progressed. The English upper classes tend to be to the Right of Genghis Khan and this one was no exception. When I started defending various Right-wing views in a way more plausible than he had ever heard before I was very rapidly transformed into a very "sound" chap in his mind and we ended up getting on quite well. 

At that time I think that I could have had almost any social "entree" that I wanted. England at that time was a very good place for someone with Rightist views. The upper class set the tone for the middle class and it is only in the Universities and among the working class that Left-wing views were normative. I moved in the best of circles while I was in England. I even attended a small private garden party in Kent at which Mrs Thatcher (then Leader of the Opposition) was a guest. I got to have a chat with her. There were of course some upper and middle class people in Britain who lean to the Left but they generally kept pretty quiet about it in company. 

Debbie

I met a very pretty little Perth (W.A.) girl in London too. I think her name was Debbie. I chatted her up on the Bayswater station of the London underground. She had just qualified as a medical practitioner and was having her big trip before starting work. She was very bright, good-natured and cheerful and was slim with a very nice set of breasts. I've got a topless photo of her somewhere to show just how nice.   

 She had blue eyes and blonde hair. She had quite a nice dress-sense, too: simple but attractive and probably fairly fashionable. We could have got on quite well if I had made a bit of an attempt at it but I suppose my wife again suited me better. Still, taking Debbie to bed every night would have been a bit of alright, as the Cockneys put it. She was, however, very attached to Perth and her family so I would have had to move there, I suppose. She would have been about 24 at the time -- when I was 34. The fact that I knocked back a pretty, good-natured young blonde with a good figure and a medical degree to boot does seem a bit hard to believe in retrospect, though. Most men would have busted a gut not to let one like that slip through their fingers. She was real quality. Maybe she was a bit short for me, though -- about 5'4". 

We went out together only a few times, mostly to I.V.F. dos. I still remember her effect on the other (English) females at one of them. She looked so much better than they did that they were quite abashed: Like a young rose among withered gerberas. The fact that I was an academic must have helped them feel outclassed too. 

When she had to move on from London (in accord with her itinerary) I just let her go. Still, getting the pants off  TWO very attractive female medical practitioners in London in the space of a couple of months was rather incredible going. I obviously had what it takes in those days. Every dog has its day, as they say. No wonder I think London is a good place, I suppose. 

The Research Assistant

 I spent a few nights with one of the female research assistants (Diane?) from the Institute of Psychiatry too. She would have been in her early 20s with blue eyes, brown hair and not much of a figure. I was shocked by her poverty. Her clothes and shoes were really worn out and would have been thrown out by most Australians long ago. This was before Mrs Thatcher's reforms and England really was a poor country then. I gave the girl a good time anyway. 

On one occasion I woke up in bed with her in the morning (and made love to her of course), then made love to Angela (see below) around lunch time and then made love to Margaret  after tea. It was the only occasion ever that I managed such variety in such a short time. 

Go for Goa

 The other female mentioned was a Goan (i.e. from Goa), Angela D. Another I.V.C. person. She was in her mid 20s, short and a bit on the ugly side but quite bright with a very bubbly personality. She really liked sex too. She always got very lubricated very quickly. Apparently I was, however, only the second man she had ever slept with. 

Her house in Stretton was the most dirty and untidy I had ever seen. She must have thought she was still living in India. After I saw how she lived I tried to break off with her but she would have none of that. She followed me around the streets of London shouting at me about how cruel I was to leave her etc. A bit like the much later film "Fatal Attraction". 

After a few dramas she eventually gave me up as a bad job, however. One of the dramas was to get me arrested by the London Police on some wild accusation but they soon let me go. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

My ring of fire


I first heard Johhny Cash singing "Ring of Fire" in the early'60s. It sounded rather alarming to me at first but I eventually got the point. And I still put it on occasionally.

It has however always peeved me a bit that none of my relationships over the years have seemed like a ring of fire.  They all started out friendly and continued that way.

But I should have been careful what I wished for.  Zoe and I  liked one another from our first meeting six months ago and a relationship between us rapidly developed.  And it  deveopled into quite a ring of fire -- though not quite in the sense intended by Johnny Cash

The problem is that Zoe are each the opposite of what the other wants.  It is a relationship that breaks all the rules. It even breaks my personal rules. Being reasonably tall myself, I have always liked tall women.  I once married a lady who was 5'11".  Zoe, however is only 5'1" tall!

Some of the differences:

She runs miles every day for exercise so is super fit whereas as I have never done any significant exercise and am so unfit it is a wonder I can still stand up at age 78.

Our backgrounds are also very different.  I am an unflappable Anglo-Saxon and pleased about that while she is a passionate and patriotic Serb.  I was born into the world's most influential culture while she was born into a nation  that almost everyone has trampled on. She speaks pretty good English but has such a strong accent that I fail to understand a lot of what she says.

Which could be a good thing.  Our attitudes and beliefs are very different.  I won't give the whole nine yards of it but, as one instance, she believes that the earth is flat whereas I am a conventional scientist with many papers in the academic journals.

She is very committed to some unusual health and diet ideas and ardently wants me to conform to them.  I go only a small way in that direction, however, which upsets her. 

She gets very jealous that I still see two of my "exes" as friends. That is not unreasonable, however. Having three ladies call on me regularly is certainly unusual

Ring of compatibilities

So how come Zoe and I love one-another despite our differences? A small part of it is that we both think the other is good-looking.  Why she thinks that about me eludes me but I am glad of it anyhow. You can see her above

The main influence that has kept us together so far is my williness to do quite a lot of compromising.  I have always held that if you find two good things in another person all the rest can be negotiated or adapted to.  And the two things I particularly look for in women are a high IQ and a liking for classical music.  Those are minority tastes but as an academic I am stuck with them.

And my little Serb has both of those rare qualities. Plus a good sense of humor and a liking for kisses and cuddles. She often falls asleep in my arms and I like that.  

So how do I deal with our ring of incompatibiliies?

Not well. The best I can do is to ignore them.  When she rattles on about her unusual beliefs -- which she often does -- I just take that as a conversation that requires no effort from me.  From my mother on, most women in my life have been big talkers while their men did the listening.  I am a good listener.

It does help that we are both high-functioning autistics so understand one-another's autistic behaviours. The fellowship of the autistics is an unlikely concept but something like that does seem to work for Zoe and me at times. 

And aging does mellow one.  At my age I have nothing to prove and no need to achieve.  So I can just sit back and enjoy any relationship.

It is all pretty unstable however. Her disappointment with me is great and we have a lot of conflict so how long the connection between us will last is hard to say for certain -- but I think we will endure. It's certainly an unusual love-affair but I am glad I have lived long enough to experience it.

Johnny Cash below:



My comments on Johnny Cash are here

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Getting some sun



Zoe is something of a sun worshipper so we sometimes soak up a bit of sun while she is with me. We sit on the landing outside my front door for a while of a late afternoon.

Given my frequent skin cancers I regard the sun as something of an enemy, however. So when I sit out in the sun, I cover up a bit with hat and sunnies. Zoe actually thought that made me look sexy so she took some photos of me in my protective gear. I reproduce two of them. In the close-up you can see the scars on my cheek from my recent operation. Zoe thought my scars made me look rather handsome. De gustibus non disputandum est





Friday, June 24, 2022

An unpleasant day


Recently, a lump of some kind sprang up on my cheek beside my nose on the right.  I had it biopsied but the biopsy was uninformative.  It was however growing so was probably a cancer of some sort and hence needed to be removed.

I put one of the best plastic surgeons in Brisbane -- someone I know well from past procedures -- onto the job and he successfully removed it yesterday -- charging $4,000 for the job.  It was a very difficult job so it was worth that to me.  

The tumor went down to the bone and it abutted a facial muscle.  In less capable hands I could have been left with a droopy face.  It is already a bit droopy due to my having lost a left facial nerve in another cancer operation some years ago. The muscle appears to have been preserved this time however

It was a Moh's procedure so we know that the tumor was all gone before I was stitched up.  I didn't have a lot of pain when the local wore off but the site is rather uncomfortable.  There was some swelling around the site but I am taking Roxithromycin for it and the swelling does appear to be on the way down. Roxithromycin is a "safer" form of Erythromycin, which has worked well for me in the past. I note that Roxithromycin is not yet approved for use in the USA but is approved in a number of European countries

The biopsy of the specimen yielded a diagnosis of a BCC but the cells were obviously unusual so my surgeon is consulting and oncologist colleague to understand a bit about it.  He has not ruled out follow-up radiology.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Mortality


A lot of men die in their 60s so one can easily lose friends that way.  I have.  Most of my friends are dead.  I find that hard to get used to.  They are still alive and vital in my memory. I still think of them as they were and miss being able to see them.

So I am rather glad that I am still alive at age 78 and appear to be in good enough shape to last a while yet.  And while my friends are dead I am enjoying a relationship with a new and pretty girlfriend. There is a picture of her at the head of this blog. I feel very lucky.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Alphabets


Aging is a pesky thing

Having a great desire to understand the world about me, I did in my youth become familiar with the Greek alphabet, the Hebrew alphabet and the the Cyrillic alphabet (Russia).  To my regret, however I never did learn Devanagari (India), which looks rather pretty. 

I have minor qualifications in Italian and German so I find that I can have a fair stab at understanding something in a European language as long as I can read the alphabet.  That is assisted by the fact that most languages these days have borrowed heavily from English

But in my late '70s I have lost most of that.  I can still read Greek with difficulty but that's about it.  And I can with patience look up a Russian dictionary because Cyrillic is based on Greek.

But now that I have a patriotic Serb in my life, I am trying to relearn Cyrillic.  I recently sent her an email in Cyrillic.  It is below:

драга
добро јутро
ај лове ју
Џон 

And I am pleased to note that one of the characters in it is a Serbian one -- not part of standard Cyrillic

The message was warmly received



Friday, June 10, 2022

A fun day


Very low-key fun but perhaps that is the best sort.

Below is the raw-food dinner Zoe put in front of me. It was a pleasant and colourful composition -- and probably good for me as well



And below is the composer of that dinner, looking as pleased as she has every right to be



She is wearing one of her favourite necklaces plus a bangle I gave her that day. I feel more than pleased to have such a nice-looking partner in my decrepit late '70s

The bangle. She likes pearls

The bangle is a magnetically fastened one so can also be worn as a necklace. See below in a high definition pic. The Hi-def also shows what remarkably wrinkle-free skin Zoe has in her mid 70s. She ages unusually slowly



And after dinner we went shopping at Coco's and got a whole box of fruit and veg for just $12. Zoe picked out most of what we bought so that is part of the reason why we paid so little. She has a very good eye for a bargain.

We sometimes exchange messages in Serbian Cyrillic. The message for me below below is actually in English but spelt in Cyrillic

ај лове ју.

In Cyrillic, a V shows as a B

I normally greet her in Serbian or Russian when she arrives at my place. Like most Serbs, she understands Russian. They learn it at school and it is a closely related language so they tend to learn it well

Friday, June 3, 2022


A food surprise

Because I do not have a live-in partner, I often have to prepare meals for myself -- so I rely a lot on frozen dinners and canned food. They are usually quite passable these days but none reach any kind of gourmet standard.

I can be lucky, however. For my lunch yesterday I ate very well. I had a thick Laksa soup which was excellent followed by a Tasmanian pork pie that was very tasty too. Not quite a gourmet lunch but definitely a good one.



Sunday, May 29, 2022

Smile



Zoe and I did particularly well together today. Her smile may tell you that



As it happens it was a good day for Joe and me today too. After our customary Sunday breakfast burger, Joe offered to play me some things on his Roland piano. He played several pieces by J.S Bach, which he knew I would like and he even played me a wonderful solfeggietto by K.P.E. Bach. It was great to hear that he was keeping his practice up to some extent.

I saw Joe in the morning and Zoe arrived about 3pm for our customary late lunch cum early dinner. She arrives as late as 4pm for it. Given my own Germanic habits of punctuality it should bother me but I just accept it as some sort of Mediterranean thing and allow for it.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Visitors from NZ


Now that Jacinda has released her people  from the iron curtain that imprisoned them for so long, it is time for Kiwis to breathe free again.  

We have already had Pam come over and today we welcomed Suz and her daughter Sahara.  Because they could not fly directly from Invercargill, they had to get up early and spent most of the day travelling.  But they arrived in time for Jenny to put on a welcome dinner for them, with Joe, Pam, Ken and myself invited as well.

Jenny made two of her excellent Lasagnas so we were well fed. We spent a couple of hours talking before breaking up for the night.

Below is a picture of Sahara, now 12.



Saturday, May 21, 2022

The ‘intimacy-desire paradox’


We read here

"That which we desire most in a relationship (read: security and comfort) rarely coexists with that which keeps us attracted to a partner (read: passion and sexual intimacy).

It’s a frustrating contradiction some sex therapists refer to as the ‘intimacy-desire paradox’. In short, this hypothesis proposes the more comfortable we are with someone, the more our sexual desire for them is likely to decline.

Which makes sense, given desire is essentially the result of wanting something we don’t already possess"


I have certainly experienced that in some of my relationships. I have got on so well with my partner that she seems like a sister to me. And there is a big taboo -- of probably biological origin -- which says you don't have sex with your sister. It is in fact the crime of incest. So my sex life rather petered out on those occasions, I am sorry to say

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Bob Katter: A Lebanese Aborigine?



Bob is very popular in Far North Queensland -- where I also come from.  All four of my grandparents were  born up that way, as I was. In my memory, the Far North was a very conservative place.  Views that today identify me as very conservative were simply normal during my early life in North Queensland.   It is my "spiritual" home.

It is over 30 years since I spent much time back up there, though I did have a couple of holidays there, with the last such being in 2004.  So I have often wondered if my old home is still as conservative as it was.  My impression is that not much has changed

And Bob's great popularity up that way confirms it.  He too is very consrervative. So I am rather pleased with his views and what he does. As a member of Federal parliament he represents the North well

But I don't like his claim to be Aboriginal. He bases that claim on once having been "adopted" into an Aboriginal tribe.  And under current Australian law, if he "identifies" as an Aborigine, he IS an Aborigine.  I am critical of that rule in general so I deplore Bob using it for political advantage.

In fact he is, if anything, Lebanese, though he fiercely denies it.  He grew up in a clothing shop run by his Lebanese grandfather.  It is a curiosity of North Queensland that there are or were in many towns a men's clothing shop run by Lebanese immigrants -- with surnames like Mellick and Malouf.  I remember them well.

The surname Katter is most common among Americans of German origin.  In German, a "Kater" is a tomcat


Bob Katter has declared his people made a 'big mistake' 250 years ago by letting in whitefellas, and that's why Australia should keep borders shut to asylum seekers ahead of Saturday's federal election as he prepares for his 10th win.

A surprising little-known fact about the controversial Queensland MP is that he identifies as Aboriginal, but Mr Katter recently spoke candidly about the subject during a TV appearance when addressing foreign policy and the plight of refugees.

'I come from Cloncurry, and I'm dark - I'm one of the Curry mob, you know?' Mr Katter said on ABC's Q&A.

'We made a hell of a bad mistake 150 years ago, letting you whitefellas in. I don't know that we should make the same mistake again.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10823217/Bob-Katter-says-Aboriginal-people-big-mistake-letting-whitefellas-ABC-Q-QLD-Kennedy.html

Friday, May 13, 2022

Necklaces



I have been shopping again

Below is Pam wearing a necklace I bought for her. She chose herself it so is very pleased with it. Pam is Jenny's bestie, recently released from the prison island across the Tasman


I also bought Zoe a string of pearls.  It is a small one as she likes small jewelery




Update: Zoe really liked the pearls. She said it was something that she had wanted. So here is another pic of her as she arrived this afternoon, looking pretty as usual. I really like the way she dresses.


I liked the matching shoes and jumper


Breaking my rib on 18 April greatly restricted what I can do. So it has affected our relationship quite a bit. She has remained affectionate and understanding but I have been unable to cuddle her, which we have both greatly missed. I am slowly healing however so today was the first day after 4 weeks that we were able to cuddle. Most pleasing

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mothers' day


My mother is long ago deceased so I really have no-one to celebrate on the day.  I suppose I could get together with my siblings and have some sort of occasion to honour our mother but we have never done so.  I didn't like my mother very much anyway. But de mortuis nihil nisi bonum forbids me to expand on that.

What I have done on some past occasions is meet with family members who are mothers and have a nice lunch.  Most of the family concerned are overseas these days however so that was not on.

Zoe solved the problem for me today.  She said that she acts like my mother so I should shout her a lunch in honour of that.  So I did.  I took her to the Burmese at Stone's corner, where I regularly have the roast duck.  It was as good as ever today.

My fitness has undergone a fair bit of improvement recently as my broken bones slowly heal.  My foot seems to be completely healed and my ribs don't bother me if I move carefully.  One memorable thing in that department today was after we got home:  I sat Zoe on my knee.  It's decades since I have done that with a woman but Zoe is only 55kg so that made it possible.  It was a good experience. She makes a good playmate, among other things

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Gifts


As the Apostle Paul said:  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  I have always believed that.  And because of some good decisions in my earlier life, I accumulated substantial financial assets.  And I have even managed to hang on to the assets so far. Making money is one thing but hanging onto it is another. A lot of people make big money but then go on to lose it.  

So I am in a position to give gifts to people in my orbit.  Most of my gifts have been quite small but some have been quite large. I have even given cars on some occasions.

One thing I have often done is give small items of costume jewellery to Anne.  I have put up pictures on this blog of some of the items concerned. I seem to have a good handle on her taste so I often buy the items before she sees them and they mostly seem to go down well.

Since early this year I have had a girlfriend in the person of Zoe so I have started to give her things too.  Below is a bracelet I recently bought her.  She was with me when I bought it and it was something she herself selected.  I thought it was particularly pretty so give a picture of it below





Anne has not been forgotten however.  Below is a bracelet I bought her just this morning.  She has not seen it yet.  I think it is rather striking





Today is also a red-letter day. Today I left my surgical "moon boot" at home. My broken ankle now seems to be fully healed. I am still walking around very cautiously however -- still using a walking stick

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

ANZAC day


Yesterday was ANZAC day.  I have attended Dawn services and watched the marches on various occasions in the past in both Brisbane and Sydney.  It is both a solemn and a happy time.  I am quite disabled at the moment so I could not participate this year.  I did however do something both special and mundane:  Joe and I went to Macdonald's for brunch.  We in fact went to a local Macdonald's that Joe has been visiting since he was 4.

It was special because I am so disabled at the moment.  Joe had to help me quite a lot to get there. I had to lean on his strong arm while walking. But it was a pleasant occasion and made a very welcome outing for me.  Since I cracked a rib, outings have been few and far between.  I am not bedbound but I am decidedly housebound.  Just the day before, Joe and I had had our usual Sunday breakfast at home to cope with my limitations

ANZAC day is a people's day.  It marks the loss of thousands of ordinary men and women in the battles of WWI.  I myself did lose relatives in both WWI and WWII.  So it is a day on which we honour members of our own families:  Men and women who fought and died for "King and country" but who were really motivated by a wish to protect their own families.  It is Australia's greatest national occasion.

The "Courier Mail" has a splendid photo gallery of this year's occasion in Brisbane. I particularly liked the photo below. It was presumably a re-enactment group who had gone to the trouble of donning the army uniforms of WWI:



Note the Lewis gun. It was used a fair bit in WWI.

And if you look at the gallery as a whole you will note the large number of Australian flags being displayed.  It is a day on which we are openly proud of our Australian identity.  The Left have always hated it but they have never been able to ding it.  A novel mocking ANZAC day was even prescribed for High School reading during my teens.  I remember it well: Alan Seymour's "One day of the year".  

The day could have been one for old men to celebrate their past but it is not.  Old Diggers do of course lead the celebrations but young people also turn out in droves for the occasion.  The Left have forced much upon us but the people at large have thwarted that attack.  As an ex-digger myself, I am glad of that.


Monday, April 25, 2022

Anne


Any reader of this blog will have come across many mentions of Anne, a lady whom I have been seeing for many years. I see more of Zoe these days but I still see Anne.   So maybe I should at this time put up a small note about our relationship.

I met Anne on Sept 1, 2005.  In my December 2005 Christmas letter I commented as follows:

"I now have a new lady by the name of Anne. She is such a keen chorister that she is in two choirs so she and I share a lot of musical interests -- including an interest in early church music. 

Anne is a nurse by trade and tells me that everything you hear about the Queensland Health bureaucracy is true". 

Curiously, although Anne does not appear to believe in God in any way, she still has Presbyterian beliefs. How come? She still believes that: "it was all meant to be". The Scottish churches are of course all originally Calvinist and even the 39 "Articles of Religion" of the Church of England accept predestination in a convoluted sort of way but you never hear that belief preached from any pulpit that I know of these days".

And from the beginning of 2006 up until quite recently the occasional events  recorded on this blog have almost all featured Anne in one way or another

Anne and I continued together as partners -- seeing one-another just twice a week -- up until March, 2000. At that point she introduced me to another man she had had in her life for some time.  She had found a new partner.  After 14 years together and with both of us in our mid-70s, I had hoped that we were together for good.  But there were things that were important to Anne which I was not giving her so I did not for a moment blame her for looking elsewhere for those things. And getting them has drawn her close to George, her new bloke.

She told George from the beginning that I would remain important in her life so he has accepted that, apparently not without some reluctance.  And Anne has remained true to her word. We have continued to have meals together, though less frequently than before. 

Despite her seeing a lot of George, it was clear that Anne really did want as much as possible of our old relationship to continue.  I give her things that she treasures that George cannot give her. So we both agreed that our relationship was permanent, which I wanted. Because of her engrossing relationship with George however, we meet just once a week over breakfast, which is as enjoyable as ever

In summary, Anne's relationship with George has not stopped her from seeing me regularly and my relationship with Zoe has not stopped me from seeing Anne regularly

I met Zoe at the very beginning of 2022 but the story of my life before that is largely the story of my time with Anne.  Below are links which take you conveniently  to that story:

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Geraldine


I have gradually put online a few memoirs of the relationships I have had over the years.  Below may however be the longest such memoir so far.  I kept detailed diary notes of my experiences with Geraldine at the time and below is an extensive extract from those notes.

From my earliest days, I assumed that I would one day meet a highly compatible lady, fall in love, marry her and live happily with her for the rest of my life. It's a common dream but has remained a dream for me in my 78 years so far. 

Along the way, however, I met many fine women whom I spent a lot of time with. They were very good years but none of the relationships proved permanent. I married four times in search of my ideal but after the fourth marriage broke up, I decided simply to accept what came my way. And much did.

I met Geraldine in 1999 when she was 51.  She replied to an advertisement of mine earlier on in February and we got on rather well over the phone but she cancelled two arrangements for a meeting on that occasion.  So she seemed a skittish woman from the outset.  I did however know that she liked Bach so that was a big advantage from my musically-obsessed point of view.  

We remained in some touch so we eventually got together in person in October.  I arranged to meet her at a pavement cafe ("La Dolce Vita") at the foot of Brisbane's mini Eiffel tower in Park Rd., Milton.  

After I made the appointment I realized, however, that I had a problem.  JHM and I were booked to go to a concert that same evening and it was one of the UQ Music Department's "Twilight" concerts -- starting at 6pm.  And to drive to the concert, get parked and walk to the venue all takes time.  So how was I going to fit in both the 4:30pm meeting with Geraldine  and the 6pm engagements?  

I mentioned the problem to JHM.   She suggested the only possible solution.  She would meet me at the Eiffel tower after I had time for my talk with Geraldine and we could proceed from there to the concert.  

So we did just that. I met Geraldine at 4.30pm at the Eiffel tower and sat talking with her there until JHM arrived at 5.15pm to collect me.  So poor Geraldine had the surely bemusing experience of sitting at a table talking to a prospective boyfriend only to have the man's beautiful ex-girlfriend roll up to collect him from her!  

I did explain in advance to Geraldine what my arrangements were so she did not seem put out and when I rang her after the concert (from JHM's place!) and asked her out to another concert on Sunday.  She accepted!  I thought she had a lot of heart in the circumstances.  What I did was certainly not the ideal way to win a fair lady, I would think.  But I did eventually win her.

Geraldine was a Primary School teacher when I met her --  5'5" tall, with an education degree and a diploma. She was at the time aged 51, had steady blue eyes, a slim waist, a nice figure and short brown hair.  She was rather more wrinkled than one would expect at her age -- probably because of her outdoorsy lifestyle and the fact that she was once a smoker.  

She was a very keen bushwalker -- in part, no doubt, because of the endorphins she got out of it.  She was even big on solo bushwalks.  

She was quiet to the point of taciturnity but as I am generally reserved too, I understood that.  She was also a good example for the saying that one should not judge a book by its cover:  Although seeming like a quiet little mouse, she was no mouse in the bedroom.  I liked that!  

Her husband was an accountant with OCD tendencies who had left her for another woman when she was 35.  He had however provided for her and her three children fairly well (giving her quite a lot of money every month) and given her the very pleasant matrimonial home in Brisbane's generally salubrious Western suburbs.

Anyway, I took her to the concert at the Customs House at lunchtime on 31 October 1999 and things went quite well between us. We went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens afterwards and talked a lot.  We had some lunch there at the kiosk and an NCOT at her pleasant Western suburbs house afterwards. She got my strange (very weak) tea right first time!  A clever woman.  I told her that I took my tea at Chinese strength and that is how she made it.  

She said afterwards that she would cook dinner for me on the Sunday but on Sunday morning she rang up and cancelled it.  On the Tuesday after that we had a phone conversation in which she announced that she did not want to see me any more.  Asked why, she said: "Because I feel a slut".  I tried to tell her that there was nothing to be concerned about but I could not persuade her.  There were of course other things about me that were bothering her as well but I had little idea of what they were at the time.  

I wrote her a letter afterwards  but that did no good either.  It was a pity because she seemed to have the basics of what I wanted -- a good mind, a liking for Bach, and a good figure.  She was however much quieter and more reserved than any woman I had ever met before.

Later in the year I sent her a Xmas card with a version of my usual Xmas letter in it.  In the letter I mentioned that an old girlfriend and I had got back together.  I mentioned that the lady had a higher degree in the social sciences and a great figure.

A naive person might think that a paragraph such as that would really hammer the nails into the coffin of any hopes I had for Geraldine.  It did the opposite, of course. Why?  Because: It confirmed that I was desirable, that I did not need her and that I would not be waiting around for her indefinitely.  It confirmed that breakups were not final for me, it showed that problems can take a while to sort out, that I am willing to work on problems for the sake of a relationship and that I was still thinking of her even while I was with another desirable woman.  It also took away any pressure from her to leap into a relationship with me straight away.  I intended it to generate jealousy and it did.

So she emailed me with congratulations on my new relationship and an invitation to join her on a Sunday drive up to Montville (an arty-crafty place), which I did.  She brought a picnic lunch with her and we had a nice day's outing, with lots of matters discussed.  From that point on it was clear that she had mostly overcome her reservations and was prepared to develop a relationship with me.

Christmas 1999 was something of a watershed in our relationship.  Geraldine had a custom of going for a week with her children every Christmas over to Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay for a relaxed time and to commune with nature. I went over to join her the Tuesday before Xmas and also on Boxing day.  We greatly enjoyed rambling about together looking at the scenery, swimming etc and also, of course, bedroom activities.  We both developed a marked increase in involvement on those two days.  

As I left after our Boxing Day meeting, she put two "Minties" in my pocket.  What a fine Australian girl!  Such a simple kind gesture so evocative of our shared ethnic Australian culture did endear her to me.  It was what a loving Australian mother might have done for one of her sons going off on a trip.

The relationship between us developed rapidly after that.  New Year's eve (the "Millennial" new year), on 31.12.1999 was particularly memorable. I felt that the occasion was certainly far more fun than a 56-year old deserved, despite being (unbelievably, I suppose) non-alcoholic.  I did abandon my teetotalling long enough to open a 30 year old bottle of "Arealva" Portuguese red wine that was left over from my drinking days but it was (surprise, surprise) off.  So I went back to lemon squash at that stage. 

I was well on the way to monogamy with Geraldine at that stage but had not quite got there.  I was still in transition from the previous girlfriend. It did however give me the most interesting New Year's eve I had had.  Quite Millennial:  

Our next day, the first day of the new millennium, was memorable too.  Geraldine arrived at my place at Forest St at 12.30pm equipped with picnic things.  We drove to the Moreton Bay foreshore at Wynnum and had our picnic lunch under a shady tree on the Esplanade there whilst enjoying the view out to sea.  The bright blue sky, the sand and mudflats in the foreground, the green sea in the middleground and the dark blue Bay islands in the distance made a pleasant scene, withlots of birdlife, some sailboats etc. as well.  We then went for a long ramble along the  foreshore.

We spent the rest of the afternon at her place talking and listening to CDs of Albinoni and other classical composers played on the computer she has in her bedroom.  Geraldine then made us some very good spaghetti for dinner.  We then drove up to the top of Brisbane's very own Mt Coot-tha equipped with a Thermos and drank our tea whilst enjoying the always pleasing spectacle of the multitudinous and many coloured lights of the city of Brisbane spread out all around below us and into the far distance.  

When we arrived back at Geraldine's place, we found that she had not taken her house keys with her.  So I had the unexpected excitement of climbing up on the roof and through a bedroom window to get us in.  Around 11pm, we had some
chocolates to eat and I then went home in a tired state.  We had two trips to scenic spots, two meals, several cups of tea, one swim and a roof excursion all in one day.  Active but very enjoyable!

Shortly thereafter she had a pre-booked walking trip to NZ, during which we corresponded

A little over a week after she got back, however, we broke up!  Her adult sons did not approve of her new relationship so that put pressure on her as she had devoted her life to them after her marriage breakup when she was 35 (she married at 22). 
 
I did get her back again after only 4 days apart but a week later she broke it off again.  After that breakup (the third), however, I decided that I would be foolish to attempt a full-time relationship with her again.  

Thinking about it at that time, it seemed to me that the major problem between us really was that Geraldine found the relationship with me to be very intense and just did not have the emotional energy to cope with it on a full-time basis. That did not seem likely to change but it seemed possible that we could still see one another on a part-time basis as long as we had both come to accept that developing it beyond that would be too ambitious.  

I certainly accepted that.  Even seeing one-another once a week would however seem to be a pretty good thing and could be an arrangement that would be stable over time.  That, after all, is how it was with JHM and me at the time.  Not that any two relationships are ever the same.  But whatever we did, I saw it as very important to have full disclosure to one-another of our thoughts about it.  I think we gave one-another unnecessary grief before that because of our tendency to hope for the best rather than work together on doubts and problems.  
Shortly after Geraldine and I had built up to seeing one-another four nights a week I stopped seeing other women and began a monogamous relationship with her.  She was really the only one I wanted to be with by that time, despite other lubricious opportunities. It still surprises me a little, however, that I was so romantic about her.  The other women around for me at the time were pretty good catches. In short, I passed over 4 remarkably attractive and intelligent women for a quiet little mouse!  Rather amazing. I just liked Geraldine's mind better.

Her skittishness however did not go away.  We continued to have lots of breakups and reunions and I eventually got tired of that and took up with another lady.  We were together in all for about two years.  We parted finally on 14th April, 2002.

Monday, April 18, 2022

A VERY mixed day


Zoe and I had arranged to go out for lunch yesterday.  She arrived at my place very late, however, as she often does.  It was nearly 3pm when she arrived and restaurants mostly close at 2:30 after lunch.  And the ones we were thinking of were all closed.
  
All was not lost however as there was a small cafe open just down the road which had a good menu.  So we went there

The seating, however consisted of backless stools -- so as I was settling in I leaned back and promptly fell off -- falling flat on  my back on the floor.  I didn't feel hurt anywhere so, after a couple of kind people helped me up, I continued with my meal. I had a burrito that I thought was very good and Zoe liked her vegetable salad

On the way, home, however,  I felt a lot of stabbing pains in my chest and suspected that I had damaged a rib in my fall.  Zoe and I however continued our date and had a very nice time for a few hours.  It was probably the most congenial time we have spent together.  So she want home in a happy state and sent me a very affectionate email when she got home.  

So I was and still am feeling very happy about my relationship with her.  I suspect that we have now done the hard yards and we will be happy together fairly permanently from now on.  I really have begun a good new relationship at age 78.

The downside was however my injury.  Jenny took me to the Wesley this morning for a scan and they confirmed that I have a small rib break on the upper left near my shoulder  So it is not very serious and should heal well enough on its own.  They think that I will be pain-free in a couple of weeks.

So it was good to establish a warm relationship with Zoe but bad that I broke a rib. If I move carefully, I can avoid much pain from the break.

Friday, April 15, 2022

I seem to have got my little Serb back

Which I am very glad about.  I do appreciate her.  She enlivens my life

Zoe and I had a bust-up recently but I persuaded her to have lunch with me today.  As most restaurants close on Good Friday, we had the meal at home.

Two things made a good impression on her.  I provided a lettuce for the salad instead of our usual spinach and I greeted her in good Russian when she arrived .  Serbs like Russians and vice versa.  Zoe learnt Russian at school.

Our time together went well and we have another date for Sunday lunch so I think we are back together.  There were sighs of contentment from her at a couple of points so I liked that.