Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday afternoon tea at Paul's

Paul celebrates his 34th birthday soon so he and Susan put on a celebratory afternoon tea at their place.

There was a goodly turnout and the ladies all brought plates of their specialty so the table was a sight to behold. Pictures coming, I believe. I ate mainly sausage rolls -- which was a bit mad in the presence of so many other good things. There was a very good Pavlova too -- with chocolate layers. I ended up eating enough to feel very tired so went home early to sleep it off.

Joe was very abstemious -- trying only a few things. He knows that he has to keep an eye on his weight if he is not to balloon out in the way that his genetics threaten. Paul is a good influence in that way, though. He has really slimmed down.

It was good to see two babies present. Babies have been missing from family gathering for far too long.

I had a bit of a chat with Simon about his forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan. He vows to stay on base for his whole deployment -- which is wise in someone who has that opportunity and a family to come back to. He will be in an air-traffic control tower most of the time so that should be pretty well protected.


The festive table -- with Joe and Samantha in the background

Thursday, March 18, 2010

An ophthalmological encounter

I bet you can't spell that hard word in my heading. Look aside and write it down now and see how you go.

Did you get two letters 'h' in it? It's tricky.

Anyway, last Monday (15th) I had the cataracted lens in my right eye replaced by a plastic one: An "interocular lens implant". So if you now call me "Old Mr. Plastic Eye", I can't object. Vision in that eye had got so blurry that I was squinting a lot to block it out.

The procedure went "very, very well" according to the ophthalmic surgeon, so rapid healing will hopefully ensue. The private clinic I went to could not imaginably be better, I think. Private medicine in Australia is very, very good -- as good as public medicine is bad. Yet my private health insurer is covering 100% of the charges from the clinic and from the anesthetist but I have to pay something towards the fees of the surgeon.

I was in and out quite rapidly and experienced only minimal pain and discomfort. I got the dressings off the morning after and my eye was pretty red and watery that day. It is now Wednesday evening as I write this and most of the redness and watering is now gone. My eyes are normally a bit bloodshot these days so the eye in fact looks normal. And the vision in my transformed eye was remarkably good from the moment the dressings came off. I no longer squint!

The ophthalmologist -- Kleinschmidt of Porter Eye Care -- went to a lot of trouble to make sure he had a lens that would be just right for me and he seems to have done a first class job of that.

The only odd thing was that he started operating at a Godforsaken hour in the morning. I had to be at the clinic before 7am. As I usually get up around 9am that was a bit of a wrench. Joe drove me in so that was a bit heroic from him too as he tends to be a late riser as well. The clinic is at Mt Gravatt where Joe lives so he at least had a short trip back to bed.

Paul picked me up after the procedure at about 9am and stayed with me for the rest of the day until Anne got home from work at about 5pm. It is apparently strongly recommended that you have someone with you for the whole of the day after a procedure. I was not very strongly affected by the sedatives they pumped into me so had only a short nap while Paul worked away on his laptop. Paul spent quite a lot of time looking at some computer problems I have so that was very useful.

Paul and I also had a lot of chats about family matters so I caught up on some news. Paul is very family-oriented so keeps tabs on what is going on.

All that is now outstanding is for the incision to heal through which the new lens was implanted but all signs are that that is proceeding apace. I always heal well so I expected no problems there, barring accidents.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A sandwich dinner and a new photo

On Saturday Anne, Susan, Paul and I had a specially convened sandwich dinner at Paul's place. The concept was to practice the sandwich-making skills that both ladies have learnt recently. We had Reuben sandwiches, Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches and Hungarian open sandwiches with Liptauer. Anne makes her own Liptauer as you cannot buy it in any Brisbane shop.

The ladies did us proud with products which were just about as good as could be and Paul got so carried away that he overate and got a stomach-ache out of it. Definitely a compliment to the food!

I had never had a Cuban sandwich before. Susan worked out how to do one through eating them in NYC while she and Paul were there recently. They were undoubtedly a great sandwich concept but very complex to make. Susan did a great job on them, though.

And below is baby Sahara now 3 months old and looking great

Friday, March 5, 2010

Old cars

Last Sunday was supposed to be a static display put on by a group of car clubs at Wynnum. But it was cancelled at the last moment due to rain. Three of us more determined souls still turned up anyway: I arrived in the Humber, another guy arrived in a Sunbeam Talbot and a third man brought his beautiful old '30s Singer along.

The Singer owner had acquired it in a dilapidated state after it had been converted into a truck so the beautiful vehicle we saw on Sunday was the product of an immense amount of work. Because so much of the original bodywork had been lost, he restored it as a tourer. And that really got to me. When I was about 4, I was given a ride in the back of a tourer and I have wanted one ever since. And if you don't know what a tourer is, you haven't lived. It has no modern equivalent.

Anyway, I survived the heartburn and had a good talk with the owner. It really was a beautiful car.

Anne and I then moved to a nearby park and had a picnic lunch/brunch. Anne had made some Liptauer for the occasion and I brought a thermos so we had a very good brunch by the sea.