Wednesday, February 24, 2021

An interesting day

Jenny drove us down to Wynnum for a picnic brunch by the sea.  The tide was in and we sat in a shelter right beside the sea so it worked well. Jenny made a frittata for our picnic food, which was good

After that we made a trip to the Wynnum disposals shop.  My old hurricane lamp had corroded to the point of unusability so I wanted a new one.  They did have a couple for me to choose from. The one I bought was brand new from China.  It was a touch smaller than the old ones.  

While I was there, I saw that they also had a kerosine table lamp.  I already have three such lamps so it was a welcome addition to my collection.

Then that night I received a scam email that surprised me.  The text of it was the usual guff  but two of the attached pictures took my attention.  One was of a black lady who struck me as rather attractive. 

Since I normally like Nordic looks in women that was a surprise.  I went to to find out who she was but tineye simply showed me that it was a picture that had been used in many scams.

The scammer also attached a picture of a very attractive bouquet.  I checked that on tineye too and got a report that it had previously been used on over 5,000 sites!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

A good weekend

Saturday morning was my usual morning with Anne. As usual we breakfasted with the Phams.

After breakfast we made our usual weekly pilgrimage to Vinnies. We did unusually well there. I bought Anne a necklace featuring very fancy glass beads and I bought three things for myself: A two tier cake stand that goes with some of my other crockery, some silver rings for serving dinner napkins and two drinking glasses of a rare heavy type that I like.

Then for Sunday lunch, I invited Jill and Lewis to the Phams. It was in celebration of Jill's birthday and the Phams have lots of good things on the menu. Anne and I had omelettes and Jill and Lewis both had the calamari with chips and salad. Jill and Anne talked a lot to one-another as they usually do and Lewis piped up a lot too. It was a very relaxed and congenial dinner and I was very glad to shout.

Jill was nicely dressed in a lacy white top and white slacks while Lewis was wearing one of his colourful festive shirts.

As is often the case these days, I did not have enough appetite to finish my meal but in breach of all motherly dicta, I nonetheless decided to have a dessert, I bought a peanut and chocolate slice from the display cabinet that I took home and halved it with Anne later on. It was so rich that half of it was plenty.

Before I left Buranda, I bought Anne a big bunch of flowers from Woolworths. They were in lieu of the flowers that I would like to have given her on Valentine's day. Anne of course celebrated the day with George. Apparently he did come to the party to some extent.

As I was handing the flowers to Anne, she said: "Life is good to us, isn't it, John?" I replied. "It is, sweetheart".

Anne had recently had some pesky surgery

And to cap off the day, I weighed myself this evening and am down to 100kg. I was 105 only about 6 weeks ago. So my dietary restrictions are working

At my request, Anne gave me a picture of the Prado with George driving

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A renovated nose

For a few months now I have had some nasty looking skin cancers on my nose.  Which made me feel very unpresentable.  But Sandy got her magic nitrogen spray gun onto them a couple of weeks ago and the resultant scabs have just come off -- leaving a perfectly respectable nose. Voila.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Computer conniptions

I have owned a laptop for some time.  I bought it for the next time I go into hospital.  Hospital is leadenly boring to me without computer access.  And I have now got the laptop set up so that I can use it as if I were using my desktop machine.

But I find the screen a bit small for my old eyes and I greatly dislike the limited keyboard.  For use at home, however, those limits are easily bypassed.  You just plug in a USB keybord and a USB Monitor and use those instead of the ones inbuilt to the laptop.

Like a lot of things however, doing it is not as easy as it sounds.  The keyboard was no problem. I got one from Jaycar, (who have a shop just around the corner from me), plugged it in to a port on the laptop  and it worked perfectly.  The monitor was the problem. 

I had an old VGA monitor and wanted to plug that in. Problem: The video output from the laptop was in the modern HDMI format.  No problem, I thought.  I dropped into Jaycar again and bought a video converter.  It didn't work.  It worked using Joe's laptop but not using mine.  Joe spent a lot of time messing  about trying to get it going but no luck.

So we gave up the fight, put my VGA monitor back in the garage and went to JB Hi to buy a HDMI monitor.  We got one for $148, which was very reasonable. It was a small one at that price but I was using it at close quarters and the HDMI was crystal clear so that was fine.  I now use the laptop a lot more comfortably.

The result

I note that Officeworks no longer advertise desktop machines. It is all laptops these days. So maybe I am in fashion to get the usability of my laptop maximized.

Sunday, February 14, 2021


The fears about bleeding from my Friday surgery did not eventuate but I had to stay at home on Saturday.  Anne cooked me some porridge for breakfast and we followed up with croissants. I always like a dish of porridge.

But by the time Sunday came around it was clear that there was going to be no problem from the surgery so I was able to give Jenny a good St. Valentine's day.  

On the morning of the day Jenny made me bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast and I gave her a card and some nougat.  I also gave her some chocolate but it turned out not to be gluten free so I was glad the nougat was OK in that department.  Jenny was even pleased about the tin the nougat came in.

Jenny chose her own flowers and bought a big bunch of small ones.

The photo is Jenny's composition.  She has removed the smaller flowers and has managed to include in the picture both the card I gave her plus the tin of nougat

That evening we went to the Burmese restaurant at Stone's Corner, which we both knew to be good.  I had roast duck and Jenny had a sizzling seafood platter.  Both came with lots of good vegies.

So we both liked our dinner.  The duck was good and Jenny enjoyed her sizzle.

And we rounded off the evening at home afterward when Jenny made me a NCOT (nice cup of tea).

I asked Jenny would she like me to open a bottle of champagne for the occasion but she declined

For any slight interest it may have, I have gathered together a few of my past reports of my Valentine's day celebrations

When Jenny and I were married many years ago, I always used to give her flowers on the day.  I have only twice given my heart to a woman -- to Jenny and to Anne.  So I am much blessed that both ladies are still very much in my life

Saturday, February 13, 2021

A frightful Friday

A rather large and nasty skin cancer sprang up on the heel of my right foot -- a difficult place for surgery.  It was getting sore, however, so it had to go.  Dr. Sandy had a close look at it and thought it would need a graft.  I tend to lose grafts however so that was no solution.

She then told me that there was only one plastic surgeon who could probably deal with the problem without a graft: Dr. D.  

Unfortunately however I already knew Dr. D. well.  He is undoubtedly a skilled plastic surgeon but two of his previous surgeries on me started to bleed shortly thereafter. Some bleeding was no problem but this was uncontrolled bleeding -- which is distinctly worrisome 

Not long ago, he did an excision on my left ear only for me to wake up next morning with blood all over my pillow.  Fortunately, Anne was staying over that night so I had some help and after a couple of false starts I got Dr Templeman onto the job. He fixed it with Anne assisting.  But we had a  distressing morning first.

So I was reluctant to go under the knife with Dr D. again.  But Sandy gave him a big wrap as being good with my latest problem so I arranged to go to him.  But, being super-freaky about bleeding, I wanted to do all I could to prevent that.  And I had a lot of help.  Sandy offered to assist Dr D. on the day and Jenny came into theatre to observe and assist in any way she could.  So in addition to Dr D. I had two ladies with me in theatre supporting me.  I guess I am at times a rather spoilt man.  The surgery was an early one, starting at 7:30am.

Dr D. was happy to share his knowledge so not only explained his procedures to Sandy but also allowed Jenny to observe closely.  So my procedure was well-supervised.

When the bandage was finally on, the next crucial step had arrived: putting minimal stress on the wound to prevent bleeding. I had to keep my foot up as much as possible.  With Jenny's help I managed it -- staying in bed for the rest of the morning and doing only a bare minimum of walking about thereafter.

It seems to have worked.  It is early Saturday morning as I write this and there has been no bleeding and no pain.  So I think I am out of the woods.  Jenny stayed overnight and Anne is due here at 9am so I will have backup if a problem does emerge.

TUESDAY UPDATE (16th): I got the pathology results today: BCC fully excised. Excellent.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

An eventful week

I have had a rather good week. 

On Monday, Jenny and I spent half the morning looking through the African shops at Moorooka.  There are a range of them with a large variety of homewares on offer.  The offerings are all very colourful, with much use of gilt, and Jenny and I thought that we might be tempted to buy something.  But it was all too much for us.  The difference between African tastes and Nordic tastes was very evident. Things that to Africans seem attractive were to us way too garish.  But de gustibus non disputandum est, as the Romans used to say

Then on Tuesday I saw Anne for dinner.  I would normally have seen Jenny on a Tuesday but she had a ladies' meeting she wanted too go to then.  So Anne kindly agreed to keep me company between 5pm and 8pm, which was ample time for a dinner.  We had an entree of duck pate on my verandah initially, followed by a trip to the Greeks at Stones corner -- who served us a very large platter of Greek specialties.  My appetite was very poor, as it often is these days, so the burden of polishing off the delicacies fell mostly on Anne -- which she did good work of.

On Wednesday Jenny joined me for breakfast at my usual haunt and that evening Joe and I had our usual Japanese curry at the Sunny Doll.  Joe is on holiday so he was more relaxed than he usually is

Then on Thursday I had breakfast at Buranda with Jenny, followed by a funeral! The funeral was for Ralph, Anne's late brother in law.  As I had always got on well with Ralph, I thought it appropriate for me to attend -- even though I don't cope well with funerals and avoid them when I can.  I thought that Anne might need me for a partner on the occasion as George, Anne's new partner, had not known Ralph and knew very few people at the funeral.  George however stepped  up to the occasion and accompanied Anne to the event.  I went with Jenny, who also knew almost nobody there. Now we know of George's willingness, that should let me off the hook for future funerals.  But maybe not.

Anne had a lot of family present but did not sit with any of them during the service. She sat with me on one side and George on the other.  Some of her family must have thought that Anne was quite a gal to have her two blokes sitting on either side of her. But she is definitely a man's woman, like her mother before ther.

Anne spent a lot of time talking to people she knew after the service so George got a bit neglected.  Seeing that, I spent a bit of time talking to him and vaguely looking after him.  Jenny stayed with me throughout.

Today was my second day off the grog, something I hope to make permanent.  I drink very little these days so thought I might as well go the whole hog.  As I also eat less these days I think I might even end up healthy!  I am not ruling out a glass of champagne on special occasions, however.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A rescued candle-lit dinner


Anne and I had arranged to have dinner together tonight.  I was going to make it a candle-lit dinner so I had got in some good things to have as part of it.

The whole reason why Anne and I were scheduled to dine together tonight was that Jenny had a ladies' meeting she wanted to go to that night instead of her usual dinner with me.

But this morning, we had a huge rain downpour which made it not very inviting to go out.  So Anne was rightly dubious of coming over to my place this evening in case she got caught in a downpour.  She is not the most confident driver at the best of times and driving in the rain at night would have been a stressful experience for her.

As it happened, both Jenny's ladies and Anne were put off by all the rain and cancelled out.  I kept Jenny posted during the day, as I usually do, so she was aware of all the rain problems.  She is however a very confident driver and can handle a bit of rain if required.  So we agreed that she would come over and have the candle-lit dinner I had arranged for Anne! So we turned two canceled dinners into one revived dinner.

It went well.  I opened a bottle of champagne to start. Our entree of Tasmanian salmon pate had a very rich taste and for the main course I had some chicken breast steaks with garlic and rosemary.  Jenny cooked them up with her usual expertise.  I provided one of my usual salads with lots of things in it.  We ended up very replete

Jenny told me that I had never before given her a candle-lit dinner so that was a bit embarrassing.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Anne and I now share ownership of a very nice vehicle.

Today was the day for Anne and me to take delivery at long last of a Toyota Prado.

That morning I put Anne on the phone to organize the insurance for it, which took about an hour.  We got a quote of a bit over $900 from AAMI so we accepted that.  I footed the bill.

My final payment from the bank to the dealer had not come through  that morning but was expected at about 2pm so Anne and George went over to the dealer to get a full briefing on the features of the vehicle while we were waiting.  She also at that time gave them her bank cheque

The bank finally came good just after 2pm so all 3 of us went over to the dealer in Anne's Corolla at that time to complete the paperwork etc.  I am not aiming to drive the vehicle but I did get a short lesson on how to use it.  I gave George the privilege of driving it off the lot and taking it to Tingalpa, where both he and Anne have units.

I got Anne to drive me home from the dealer to my place at Woolloongabba in her Corolla.  We had a few chats during the drive.  She did not stay but I will be seeing her tomorrow night.

A recent picture of Anne